By Tommy Mellow, owner of A1 Garage Doors, a $100-million-plus home service business. Sharing what I’ve learned to help other entrepreneurs scale.
One of the most popular Jeff Bezos quotes goes like this: “Start with customers, and work backwards.”
Most people read that and think, “OK, that’s nice. I get it. Customer satisfaction is important.”
But few stop to think, “What does he actually mean by that?”
Because I love learning, I dig deeper. And I found a powerful thing that Bezos said about the relationship between customer satisfaction and business success: “Proactively delighting customers earns trust, which earns more business from those customers, even in new business arenas.”
Read that again, because this marks a fundamental shift in how you run your business.
Rather than treating customer service as an afterthought, you make customers the focus throughout the buying experience — from the first moment you pick up the phone and answer a customer call, right down to the last moment you leave the customer’s home.
At my company, that’s what we do. I call our approach “sell it right.” It’s the last and most important step of our eight-step sales process. I’ve trained hundreds of technicians myself through this — and our results back up what I say. We went from $50,000 in debt to nine figures, along with 2,000-plus customer reviews averaging 4.8 stars. We’re not alone either: The Institute of Customer Service (ICS) found a strong correlation between customer satisfaction and business growth in their 2012 survey of 26,000 consumers.
So, how can you sell it right?
Sell It Right: What It Means And How We Do It
Let’s role-play for a second. Let’s say I’m your home service technician and I just completed a door repair. You give me the check.
At this point, most people just take the check, say a quick thank you… and leave!
Here’s what I do instead to sell it right:
I finished the job. I took your check. Now — with a smile — I’m going to run everything over with you so that you are happy about everything I did. I’m going to show you the repair warranty information so that you know what to do if there’s still an issue. I’m going to clean everything so that you have absolutely nothing to do after I leave.
And before leaving, here’s what I say to you:
“Listen, we cherish your business. We really appreciate it. It’s so amazing that we got to work with you today.”
My goal is to make you feel that “Wow, that sure was worth the money.”
Why go to such lengths? By selling it right, you immediately get a few benefits:
• You blow out all that buyer’s remorse (and any possible complaints).
• You bump up the chance of them leaving a positive review and even referring you to others.
On a deeper level, selling it right means that you grow your business more sustainably and effectively.
You can spend all the money on marketing, but all of that investment would go to waste if you can’t retain customers for long. It’s like pouring into a leaky bucket.
That’s why we measure business success differently: Lifetime value > Upfront profit
Here Are A Few Ways You Can Start Selling It Right:
• If you run an online business, say infoproduct/e-commerce: Send your customer a personalized thank-you email. Check if they have any issues assessing their order. Better still, get your team to do a live walk-through.
• If you’re running a brick-and-mortar store: Explain how to use the product. Repeat its benefits to satisfy that they made the right choice. Let them know that they can drop by anytime if they have a question or issue.
Most importantly, make sure that you get your team’s buy-in. Work with them to design a sales process that’s focused on the customer. Provide ongoing training and coaching.
Selling it right only works for us because we’ve invested hundreds of thousands of dollars in systematically training our employees. (In the next three months, we will complete a brand new training center, which I’m very excited about!)
After all, your customers are that important to you. What we want is customers not once or twice, but for life.