Mark and I recently had a representative from a local cleaning company come to our house to give us an estimate of how much it would cost to clean our house.
I had heard about them from a direct mail piece, and I was impressed with what I read. Based on their literature and the process they shared (I do love a good system and process), I was ready to sign.
And I didn’t sign. As a matter of fact, I don’t know what it would take for them to win me as a customer at this point.
I’m sure you’re thinking that they must have done something egregious for me to make a statement like that.
Nope. They just didn’t care about me as a customer. I felt (and still do feel) that I was just a number, a faceless one at that, to them.
Here are two mistakes they made. Had they only made one of them, I might have signed up that day to have them start cleaning my house. But with both of these mistakes, no way.
First, the representative never asked me any questions beyond how many bedrooms, bathrooms, etc. Here are some of the questions she should have asked.
“Why did you reach out to us to get scheduled cleanings?” The answer, “Because I want a clean house” isn’t good enough. Most people want a clean house. The real question is “Why now?” My answer would have given her great insight into what’s important to us, what’s going on in our lives, etc.
“Have you ever used a cleaning service or individual before?” I have used both, commercial cleaning service and individuals, and sharing my experiences with her, what I liked, and what I didn’t like, would, again, have given her valuable insight into how to treat us as valued customers.
The second mistake made was that no one followed up with me personally. I’ve gotten three standard, automatic, template emails about becoming a customer and scheduling a cleaning, but those certainly don’t make me feel like a human being to them. I’m just another number on the end of an automatic email responder series.
I’ve actually called the owner of the company to share my feedback, as I would think it would be helpful for him to know how he can increase sign-ups and sales.
Interestingly, he hasn’t called me back. So, I have lots of reasons to support my not wanting to use this company in the least.
- Ask questions that allow you to get know the prospect in front of you. What’s important to them? What are their values?
- Hear their needs, frustrations, reservations about using your service or product, and be able to connect the dots for them as to how your service or product stands above the rest and will meet their needs.
- Follow up, person to person. Make a phone call. Show that you care.
Don’t just be another number.