I recently had my carpets cleaned by a great company, Shannon Carpet Cleaning, as part of my end of tenancy agreement. By the time Mr. Shannon had finished cleaning the full apartment (even the bathroom is carpeted, yuck, I know, but let’s not go there!), only an hour had passed and the carpets looked spotless and smelled amazing. When it was time to pay, he handed me a hand written receipt and a printed postcard with the company’s information on it: an approach that left me bewildered. Let me explain why.
After paying, we launched into a ten minute discussion about SEO (search engine optimization) spurred by his asking where I had found his company. I had simply “Googled” carpet cleaning in my area, and Shannon Carpet Cleaning popped up as the first option that wasn’t a paid for advertisement (this is called ‘organic search’). As I regaled my tales of difficulties that home service businesses run into in establishing their presence online, Mr. Shannon seemed surprised. He explained this by commenting that while SEO might sound complex and forbearing, once you understand the concept it is easy for even a small business owner to implement. In fact, he added, it is a huge mistake not to. I agreed, knowing far too well the importance these days of search engine optimization, particularly for the competitive home service business market.
This conversation left me puzzled for the rest of the day. How could a perfect businessman, who does great work, provides good customer service, and understands the value of a strong online presence, miss such an important part of the business transaction: professionalism through-and-through. To the customer, having your home serviced is just as much about the overall experience as the end result. A lady with leaky pipes wants a clean, trustworthy plumber that doesn’t track muddy water through her house, and has a guarantee at the end that the pipe is well fixed. A corporate business who needs their windows cleaned wants a professional who comes during a quiet time of day, and dresses in an identifiable uniform to match expectations within their building.
I was looking for a seamless end to my home service experience with a printed invoice and consequential receipt, perhaps with a coupon for services next time. It is important for home service businesses to realize that impressions are important. Running your business in a professional and memorable manner helps you to keep customers and attract new ones. This is hard to do if you are using a planner to manually schedule appointments, and a receipt pad to track payments. Research a workforce management solution that is right for your business. The extra cost will be easily met by the added customers you will gain from streamlining your business. Letting a workforce management system work for you will transform your business into one that appears to be a successful thriving business with many employees. So let the software do the work for you and leave your customers with a smile on their face, by giving them a great end-to-end home service experience. First impressions surely count, and so does the complete experience.