If you asked 100 people what the worse thing about living in Southwest Florida (SWFL) is, we would guess that about 75% would say the awful service you get from businesses. That does not mean that all companies do a terrible job; it just means that far too many are. Separating yourself as a business down here is not a difficult task. Below we offer three things you can do as a business that will instantly set you apart from the bulk of your competition.

Put the Customer First

Too many companies down here are downright dreadful when it comes to customer service. Not calling people back is a prevalent business practice here in SWFL. It blows our mind that a person would take the time to set up a business and then not even bother to return a call to a potential new client. Don’t believe us, ask around, and you may be surprised at how common this is. Make a policy that you will call all people back within one business day. Set aside time each day to return calls. In your voicemail greeting, encourage customers to email you, often it is easier and faster to respond via email. The biggest thing, treat them right. People are not looking for a best friend; they are looking for a vendor they can trust and who will do a good job.

Be upfront and honest

Be direct but professional with the customer; many will appreciate this. When it comes to pricing, be specific and not vague. Also, make sure you have done your market research and charge a fair market price. Use quality products and back up your work. Companies who do not stand by their work will have a hard time being sustainable. If a change to the plan needs to happen, explain it to the customer, give them all the info and pricing they need to move ahead, hidden fees drive people crazy.

Be Professional

How you address the customer, what you wear, and how you present your business are all part of being professional. You do not have to go over the top with new uniforms. But you should be dressed accordingly for the job. Speak to your customers with a level of professionalism, sarcasm, off-color humor, or anything along those lines generally do not sit well with customers. Be on time. Nothing annoys a customer more than when a vendor is hours or sometimes even days late. Respect their time as well, remember they are the ones paying you.