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No doubt your clients think you provide good service, but what about the people who didn’t choose your small business?

The small-business technology company Infusionsoft surveyed 3,000 people in the United States last December to determine why they hired particular service-based small businesses, what they considered good service, and how their expectations are being met or not met by them.

“Consumers have come to expect excellent service before they become a client and while they’re a client,” the company states. “They pay attention to how you interact with them and the details that go into providing them with excellent service because they want to buy from people they feel like they can trust and develop a relationship with.”

Among the survey findings:

  • By far, most people find service providers through recommendations from someone they know.
  • Eighty-six percent said they were satisfied with a provider who was referred to them or was a provider they use on a recurring basis.
  • Almost half said they didn’t hire a service provider because the provider either didn’t follow up with them or was slow to return calls or emails.
  • Almost all respondents ranked “trustworthy” and “dependable” as the most important qualities in a service provider.

And what advice did the survey respondents have for businesses?  Here are some quotes:

  • “Treat your last appointment like your first … they shouldn’t feel rushed and end up with a lousy product.”
  • “Take your time. Treat each client like they are your best, even if they are your worst in terms of the amount of business they are doing.”
  • “Don’t put pressure on the customer to decide quickly.”
  • ”A more upbeat personality goes a long way.”
  • “Always listen to what your customer is really saying.”
  • “When you hire subcontractors, you should be accountable to the work that they do. It is your job to ensure that what the customer paid for is completed.”
  • “Keep business and home separate.”
  • “Focus on your client more, your staff less.”
  • “No shortcuts, do it exactly as you would your own home.”
  • “Explain things so I can really understand.”

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