Thanksgiving is right around the corner, which means that Black Friday is lurking right behind it. Some people are drawn by the promise of wallet-easing sales, others are repelled by the blatant consumerism so soon after a holiday celebrating gratitude . . . but however you feel about Black Friday, there are definitely some lessons that any emergency service contractor can learn from it.
Advertise Your Emergency Contractor Hours
Over the last few weeks, anyone on social media has been made aware of (whether they were interested or not) which of America’s favorite retailers are going to be open this Friday. The lesson that all water damage contractors and emergency plumbers can take away is this: advertise your hours! Emergencies can and will happen at all hours of the day or night, and customers are usually looking for someone that can help them immediately following the discovery that their home or business is flooded! Advertise your hours of operation as much as you can, and that will increase the chances that the customers will find you when they most need your services. The difference between “water damage restoration services” and “24-hour water damage restoration services” will amaze you.
Have a Process
When we think about Black Friday, most of us imagine a storm of anxious shoppers rushing to get into a store, but not all contractors realize that this effect may extend to them. Although major retailers can plan months in advance for Black Friday, many emergency contractors fail to have a plan in place when the same thing happens to them. This can be a mistake, and may cost you customers. Think of the massive rush of customers like a major storm hitting an area; Black Friday retailers have the luxury of knowing when and where the “customer storm” will hit, but most contractors do not. Your company may not have the luxury of knowing the exact time and date your storm will hit, but you should definitely have an action plan in place. Your action plan should include having your phone lines ready and able to accept multiple calls, your staff ready and alert, and making sure that everyone understands the division of labor. Without a plan in place, things can quickly get out of hand and customers will complain or take their business elsewhere. At least you don’t have to worry about breaking up a fight over the store’s last copy of Fallout 4.
Don’t Turn Away Customers
While the whole idea of Black Friday is to pack as many people as possible into the retailer’s stores, most items offered for sale aren’t picked up the same day. This allows retailers to be able to sell more of their products than are physically present in the store, instead of limiting sales to what they have. During a big storm, flood, or another event where your equipment is already out in the field, be sure to know exactly when you can service the next customer. These instances can be difficult, and the last thing people want to hear is that your team is too busy to help. By having a definitive time in mind, you can keep things running smoothly, and reassure your customers that someone will indeed be along to help them within a defined time frame (ie. “We can send someone to your location no later than 3 pm”). More often than not, if you can make your customer feel like their personal crisis is not being overlooked, and that help is coming, they will be willing to wait a bit longer for your equipment to become available.
While we can all agree that Black Friday can be a pain, there are definitely some good lessons we can take away from it. By advertising your hours, having a plan of action in place, and staying on top of scheduling issues, you can bring in more business and leave your customers happy.