What Residential Customers REALLY Want


With consumers and prospects in today’s marketplace shopping for deals and maxing out on the use of digital tools, relationship building between a service provider and a consumer of service is scarce. In spite of the online ease of finding a provider, engaging and scheduling the service and getting the job completed, there is often something missing.

In certain markets, the “click, schedule and pay here” business model works well, in other markets, not so much. Turning a service business into a commodity doesn’t have long lasting shelf life nor does it need to use sales skills. It simply becomes a battle to the bottom for lowest price.

So what do customers really want from you? What will make the customer “choose you”? When all is said and done, our business is still a people business and when we remove” people” from the mix we have to replace the void with meaningful text that will address what customers really want from you.

Here are a few tips that will help you understand what customers want from a service provider:

Respect and Recognition. Nothing sounds better to a customer than his or her own name. Use it throughout all your conversations and communications with all customers. Being addressed by name is can be “gold” to a customer. Whether it’s email, text or verbal communication, they love to hear it and it immediately sets a tone of respect.

To be listened to with empathy and understanding. Hear what the customer is saying to you. Don’t assume you know what they want. Listen and HEAR, then act. Too often we are tempted to dismiss what a customer is telling us because “we’ve heard it before” or this is just a whacky customer who always complains. The truth is, if you fail to listen to what they are telling you, you can’t produce a solution to the problem.

Satisfaction (find a solution to their problem).Correct the problem swiftly and without hesitation. A customer’s satisfaction is one reason you are in business. Even if you don’t have the solution to the problem, take care of the customer by finding an alternative or someone who can address the problem. You will retain your positive relationship with the customer by doing so. Word will spread quickly about your “taking care of the customer” approach.

Trust and Trustworthiness. Human beings are hardwired to want and need trust in a relationship. Show your trustworthiness by doing what you say you will do. Never willingly brush off the concerns of a customer.

To feel important. When we treat each customer as if he/she is our only customer, the level of satisfaction and importance rises.

Customers know when you care. Over 68% of the customers who stop doing business with you do so because of poor service or miscommunication.

Something as simple as a negative tone of voice or not solving a customer’s needs adequately can make the difference between a satisfied customer who still stay with you for years and one who will be tempted by every advertisement from competitors that they see.

Ask customers what they want from you as a service provider. Keep personal contact at the top of your “to do” list. Only by regularly talking with customers will you get a picture of what they are really thinking about your company. Cancellations happen for a variety of reasons and some that you can’t avoid. But when customers cancel because of management or quality situations, there is a gap in your service delivery and monitoring of customer satisfaction. You should have a constant handle on what your customer is thinking and if you are exceeding their expectations. They know when you care and they will take action accordingly.

*Sharon L. Cowan CBSE is a 30 year veteran of the cleaning industry having purchased and sold a residential and commercial cleaning company. Known as a turn around specialist, Sharon focuses her time on helping owners realize growth and profits by coaching and teaching them by uncovering what’s holding them back and using proven systems to help them move forward. She ca be reached at[email protected]