Today’s service business customers want speed of service. Learn how you can give it to them without making undue sacrifices along the way.
Imagine that you’re in the line at Starbucks.
You’re jonesing for that shot of espresso or fancy latte that you love so much. And each step forward in the queue takes you a little closer to your own cup of heaven.
But then, something happens.
A customer takes an eternity to figure out what they want. They’ve had this entire time in the line to work it out, but they only thought about it when they got to the front!
Or, one of the staff makes a mistake. It’s understandable, but it also means there’s a delay.
You get a little bit mad, right? After all, you came to Starbucks for a speedy service and you’re not getting it. And if these issues keep happening, you might just take your business elsewhere.
I know you’re wondering what this has to do with service businesses.
This story is an illustration of today’s customer mindset. We want what we want now and we want it our way.
That’s why your service business has to deliver quickly or your clients will take their business elsewhere.
But speed is a double-edged sword. It sounds great to say that you’re in and out in no time, but focusing on speed alone leads to unwanted sacrifices.
So how do you ensure clients know that you’re fast enough without cutting corners? Keep these four tips in mind.
Tip #1 – Don’t Keep Clients in the Dark
Certainty is a key component of speed. Your clients want to know when you’ll turn up and how long it will take you to deliver your service.
And if you can’t tell them, they’re going to look elsewhere.
So don’t keep them in the dark.
When a customer calls you to schedule a service, don’t just tell them what day you’ll arrive. Tell them the exact time, or as close to it as possible. And tell them exactly how long you expect the job to take. You can add a disclaimer that anything unexpected could extend the time.
By being as clear as possible from the off, you create certainty.
You also set the parameters for your client. That means you’re not dealing with calls asking where the hell you are. And it also means weeding out the clients who’d never stick to your parameters in the first place.
Tip #2 – Leverage Your Marketing to Highlight Speed
You need to recognize that speed is super important from a marketing standpoint.
Every material that you send to a client needs to emphasize how quickly you get the job done. You need to talk about the efficiency of your crews and how your experience allows you to be in and out in no time.
If you’re not talking about this stuff in your marketing, how’s your client supposed to know?
Do you expect them to call you up to find out how quickly you can do the job?
That isn’t going to happen. The typical client will do their research before calling anybody. And if speed is a priority, the first business they call is the one that keeps telling them they can do the job fast.
Why put yourself in a position where clients talk to other service businesses before your own?
Tip #3 – Follow Up the Speed Message by Showing That You Don’t Cut Corners
There’s a danger with the speed message that you need to consider.
Some prospects will look at that and say, “How can they be so fast? They probably cut corners and do a shoddy job to be in and out like that.”
Suddenly, the speed message that’s supposed to land you more business gets turned against you. Now, your speed is something that shows you’re not going to do the job right!
To counter this, you need to follow up on the speed messaging with quality assurances. Tell the client directly that you don’t cut corners.
Your speed doesn’t come from shortcuts.
It comes from you having done this over and over again, to the point of it being second nature.
By doing that, you establish your expertise further. You’re saying that you get the job done quickly because you do it more often than anybody else.
Reinforce this with testimonials and examples of your work to show the client that they’re getting quality.
Tip #4 – Learn How to Speak About Speed (Because It Can Be Toxic)
Following on from that point, you also need to take care of how you speak about speed in your marketing.
If you’re focused only on how fast you can do it, you’re not telling the client how well you do it.
I gave you a couple of ideas for softening the speed message above. But here are a few more messages that you need to include in your marketing to justify your speed:
- Tell them how many years of experience you have. A high enough number acts as an instant authority builder. If you’ve been doing this for 20 years, the client knows you wouldn’t last that long by providing shoddy work.
- Talk about the skills that your people have. Make it clear that you train for jobs like this so you can build efficiency into your process.
Emphasize that you do this in an expedient way because you’re efficient. The key to all of this is that you justify your speed so the client doesn’t think you’re going to come in, rip them off, and get out.
Speed Is a Dangerous Thing…
… If you don’t know how to talk about it properly.
Your clients want speed, but they don’t want to work with somebody who cuts corners. Your expertise and efficient processes allow you to provide speed. And you should absolutely talk about how fast you are in your marketing materials.
Just ensure that the client knows why you’re so fast.
It’s not because you cut corners.
Rather, it’s because you’ve created better and more efficient processes than any other service business in the area.
I’m going to leave you with a question…