Are you worried that customers are going to “shop” your repair or upgrade quote around to other service contractors? If so, you failed earlier than you may realize. Getting customers to a “yes” on quoted work starts well before you ever find a problem and send a quote. It starts with trust. I’m not talking about the kind of trust built through personal relationships and old-school customer service. That’s not scalable or reliable. I’m talking about trust built on a technology-enabled, convenient customer experience. I’m talking about giving your customers the Amazon experience so they won’t consider buying from anyone else.
Amazon is dominating its competition because it innovated for the customer instead of focusing on backend efficiency. Now, they don’t have to compete on price. Walmart, on the other hand, focused on efficiency and logistics. They are the low-price leader, but the markets have spoken and you can see from the stock chart below that consumers will pay a premium for convenience. I, for one, will happily pay a few extra dollars to avoid:
- Fighting for a parking spot
- Wandering around looking for products
- Waiting in line to check out
It’s not just the brick-and-mortar retailers that Amazon is dominating. Other e-commerce retailers struggle to compete with Amazon’s innovations. Even though other sites have lower prices most of the time (just check Google shopping), Amazon customers are loyal and don’t consider buying from anyone else. Why? Two reasons. Amazon’s order process is more convenient, reliable, and transparent than any other e-commerce site. From beginning to end, Amazon’s customers can trust that they are ordering the right products based on pictures and reviews and that their order will arrive on time based on notifications received throughout the process. Prime is the second reason Amazon customers don’t shop around.
Amazon sold the program when it introduced Prime, a service that gives customers free, 2-day shipping on most orders for an annual fee. It’s not like 2-day shipping is a new concept, and customers are still effectively paying for expedited shipping with the annual fee, but the concept built loyalty. Prime customers are bought into the program so they feel obligated to buy exclusively from Amazon and buy more to get their money’s worth. It’s brilliant.
Service contractors can take a page from Amazon’s playbook. First, sell the program to build customer loyalty from the beginning. Your program won’t look exactly like Prime, but here’s a webinar showing what it means to sell the program as a Service Contractor. Once they are in the program, use technology to give your customers a convenient, transparent, and reliable experience. Then, when you send a quote for an upgrade or repair, customers will trust that you are the only option to consider.