The Simple Formula for Success and a Superior Customer Experience

Given the uncertain times, it’s critical to stay in tune with consumer thoughts and behaviors. This seems like a moving target right now. This quarter’s HomePulse focuses on what consumers want, and expect, from home services companies at the moment. The results provide considerations on service delivery to address consumer needs and the implications for marketers.

The really good news is that even in the current COVID environment, almost 60% of homeowners indicated that they are likely to call home services companies to make a repair or service a problem in their home. This is up more than 20% from our HomePulse in Q2 2020, which was fielded just after the COVID pandemic hit. And a recent article from McKinsey showed that consumers’ intent to make home improvements jumped 22 percentage points.

So, what do consumers want from home services companies right now? The answers seems so simple and completely doable. And the responses were consistent across age groups and gender.

  • Show up on time
  • Be professional and courteous throughout the process
  • Perform quality work
  • Charge a fair price (not the cheapest) for the work performed
  • Use the appropriate safety precautions

Let’s dig into this a bit.

CONVENIENCE IS KING.

Consumers want things to be easy. Homeowners ranked the following as the most important characteristics of convenient service:

  1. Prompt, on-time arrival
  2. Communications to alert me exactly when someone will arrive the day of service
  3. Online scheduling

A SUPERIOR CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE.

Consumers want things to be stress-free. There is enough stress and lack of control in everyone’s lives right now. Homeowners ranked the following as the most important characteristics of a superior customer experience:

  1. Professional, courteous service
  2. Quality of work performed
  3. Cost – receive “value” for what I am paying
  4. Ease of scheduling service appointment
  5. No being up-sold on something I don’t need at this time
  6. Company representative wearing appropriate personal protective equipment

“A friend told me about you.”

78% of homeowners shared that the thing most likely to get them to try a new home services company is reading a positive review or getting a recommendation from a friend or family member. Therefore, attention to detail, overdelivering on convenience and making sure customers are 100% satisfied will turn customers into brand advocates.

What are the implications for marketers of home services?

First, make sure your service delivery is where it should be. And when it is, communicate loudly and often how your company is more convenient and delivers a customer experience far superior than your competition. As a challenger brand, you should:

Show consumers how you do things differently by creating symbols of re-evaluation.

  • An on-time guarantee
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee
  • New convenient, personalized service
  • Enhanced safety precautions
  • Unique payment options

Tell consumers in communications that break through the clutter.

  • With a sea of sameness in the marketplace, you must say things differently than everyone else.
  • Focus on a powerful primary message while utilizing the most effective and efficient media vehicles.
  • Make sure the production quality of your communications is highly professional. This a direct representation of the quality of work you will perform.

Encourage your customers to share their experiences.

  • If you don’t already have one, start a referral program
  • Get customers to provide testimonials and share them on social channels
  • Entice customers to write and post positive reviews

Contact Chuck Fischer at chuck.fischer@gkv.com to find out how we can help your company act like a challenger brand.

GKV HomePulse is a random sample of adults from across the country who own a home and are the primary decision maker for home service issues.

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