Are You Easy to Do Business With? - ResidentialSystems.com

Are You Easy to Do Business With?

Chances are you started your company fueled by a passion for the home technology industry. Over time, your company overcame new challenges by using the tools at hand without stopping to consider long-term customer-facing effects. My own career followed this path, and I wish I’d focused more on delivering excellent customer service earlier. Here are five key areas we focus on to differentiate ourselves from the competition.
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Do you run your business around what’s easiest for you, or what’s best for your customer?

Chances are you started your company fueled by a passion for the home technology industry. Over time, your company grew, and with growth came new challenges. Many of these challenges were met by using the tools that you had at the time, potentially without stopping to consider the long-term effects or customer-facing side of things. My own career certainly followed this path, and I wish I’d focused more on delivering excellent customer service earlier on as opposed to implementing solutions that worked best for my lifestyle. We’re in a much better place now, but it would have been a lot easier to begin with the end in mind.

We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible for customers to do business with us. There are five key areas we focus on to differentiate ourselves from the competition. What differentiators do you brag about?

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1. Always a Live Voice
At Livewire, we determined nobody likes voicemail. I don’t like voicemail and neither do your customers. We implemented a call center to help us with our overflow calls during the day and even all night long. If you call Livewire, a real live person picks up the phone every time! This has gone a long way to converting prospects into closed business and keeping our clients happy.

2. Online Appointment Booking
If someone wants to schedule service or a sales consultation, they can click the “Book Appointment” link on our website and select their own date/time. It’s powered by a company called YouCanBook.me, and it dumps right into our customer relationship management (CRM) software package.

3. Texting
It’s becoming more common for clients to text when they want something. Instead of bemoaning it, we cater to the behavior by allowing clients to text our main number. It’s a snap to manage, and drives customer satisfaction through the roof. Our texting solution is enabled through our RingCentral phone subscription.

4. Online Payments for Subscriptions and Service Calls

In addition to processing credit card payments in the field and via email, we recently debuted a subscription sign up capability on our website powered by Zoho Subscriptions. If you’re contemplating any kind of recurring monthly revenue (RMR) program, run—do not walk—to this solution. It’s inexpensive and manages client credit card expirations for you automatically. In addition, there’s a fantastic dashboard that displays customer activations, attrition, and lifetime customer value. We added links to our InVision and Security pages so a new client can sign up on their own. It’s incredibly easy to implement and I’d love to hear your experiences rolling out payment solutions for your clients.

5. Customer Portal

Something we’ve wanted for years is a client login area where they can manage their invoices, documentation, and more. Thanks to our Zoho Subscriptions implementation, we’re now delivering on that desire by emailing clients their own username and password. Providing the portal goes a long way toward positioning us as a truly professional organization and our client feedback has been very positive!

The next time that you’re considering emailing your customer an attachment to sign, making things overly complex, or sending your customer to voicemail, ask yourself a simple question: “Am I easy to do business with?” If not, why? After all, aren’t we running technology businesses?

Stay frosty and see you in the field.

Full disclosure: I receive no compensation from any of the companies I mentioned; I just love their products.

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