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Building great customer relationships for your foodservice repair business

You have the skills to fix just about anything that breaks, but how do you make sure that a customer calls your company when their equipment goes down? Repeat business is a core element of running a successful company. It’s all about giving great customer service in addition to top-notch repairs and expertise, so people feel good about working with you. Here are some of our best tips for building a loyal customer base for your foodservice repair business. 

Be responsive 

You can’t answer every call when you’re in the field, so having good backups in place is important so you don’t lose customers. For example, dedicated support staff can handle calls and emails, answer questions, and schedule service appointments. If you don’t have someone to answer calls, a helpful voicemail message letting customers know when to expect a call back is smart customer care. Just be sure to call back and address any questions and concerns promptly. Adding a “Contact Us” form and online appointment scheduling software to your website are other simple and effective ways to quickly help your customers.

Be the calm in their storm 

Equipment breakdowns are stressful and potentially costly. Walking into a situation where a manager or other employee is upset and anxious to get things running again isn’t fun. But how you react to their understandable stress and worry can make a huge difference. Remember that their attitude isn’t personal and aim to present yourself as an expert problem-solver in high-pressure situations like theirs. This is a good way to establish both likability and trust with customers–and people tend to buy from those they know, like, and trust.

Be memorable

Be sure to leave your business card and any other marketing extras (magnets, pens, stickers, calendars) with clients at the end of a service call. This goes for existing customers, too — strive to consistently make it easy for people to find your contact information. Offer those extras as you thank them for calling on you to help keep their equipment running smoothly. Another way to stand out while also potentially increasing sales is to offer expert advice on warranty service and preventative or seasonal maintenance options a customer may not yet know about. 

Follow up

Many repair companies send postcards reminding customers of regular maintenance updates. A quick phone call to check in and see how a recent repair went is another way to touch base and keep you in mind with your customers. Email is another easy way to check in with customers. Sending a thank you note and a link to a customer satisfaction survey will give you solid information about how you and your technicians are doing in the field, and it gives customers a chance to leave reviews you can use for marketing in the future.

Never underestimate the power of every positive customer interaction to build lasting relationships. Those relationships lead to more than just a good impression, but also repeat sales and referrals to other business owners who may hire you based on their recommendation.

Toni McLellan is a content writer and strategist based in the Chicago area. Follow her on Twitter or LinkedIn

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