4 secrets for happy customers.

Thumbtack Writer PhilippaB
Thumbtack Writer
11 18 6,194

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Great customer service does more than build long-term customer relationships — it creates brand advocates, who will pour their time and energy into helping your business on social media and beyond. Plus, nothing feels quite as good as watching a customer walk away satisfied with your service. Here’s how to make your customers happy. Like really, really happy.

 

  1. Make yourself available via email, text, social media — the more the better.

    Create a few communication channels, so that customers can get in touch with you in the way they’re most comfortable. Millennials might Snapchat you a question, while baby boomers will probably want to chat things out over the phone. And unless you’re equally responsive on everything, (hats off to you) also let them know which channel will get the fastest response. For example, if you’re on a job site all day and rarely have time to check email or pick up the phone, let your customers know that texting is their best bet if they need a quick reply.

  2. Really listen. It helps your customer feel heard and cuts down on mistakes.

    Seems small, but listening can determine a lot about the quality of your work and the longevity of your customer relationship. Most of us could use the reminder to slow down a listen in a way that makes your customer feel understood and respected. That means focusing on what they’re saying, determining their mood, relaying back things they’ve said, asking follow-up questions, empathizing with their issues if they’re upset, and delivering a solution that will work for both of you.

  3. Remind customers you’re always getting better. Ask for feedback.

    Tell your customers that you want to hear about their experience, good or bad, and if they have any ideas about improvements you could make or things you could do differently. Not only is this a great way to build trust and make your customers feel valued, it brings issues to your attention so you can fix them.

  4. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes.

    Empathy is everything. If a customer has a problem or complaint, put yourself in their shoes to understand the issue and offer the best solution. If necessary, apologize, and let the customer know you recognize why they’re upset and want to help. If you’re not sure how to solve the problem, ask them what solution they’d be satisfied with. And, even if the customer is being rude, always remain calm and don’t take it personally.

 

What’s working for your business? Share your best tip in the comments.

18 responses
Candi
Level 7

I do all of these things. The client doesn't want to share information in the inbox

BrianA
Level 4

Okay

yourfriendswith
Level 5

With over 1,000 reviews, I think Thumbtack should lower the rating needed to win this award. If my company were to add 50 5stars reviews, I could not move from a rating of 4.62 to 4.8. Just saying!

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@BrianA Sure there are those times where a customer may not respond or add their contact info in their project details, but there are those who will respond and either add their number up front, later in the messenger, or discuss all details and hire the pro through the messenger. We call it a lead because we've helped you make that first connection and give you the opportunity to sell your services and close the deal. The customer specifically chose to reach out to you after looking at the list of options. We are doing our best to make sure "ghosting" happens less, but when it does happen, here are some tips. The key is to make sure you are winning enough jobs overall to make your investment in Thumbtack worthwile, even if some individual leads don't pan out. 

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@yourfriendswith Congratulations on having so many reviews! Are you referring to the Top Pro award? If so the 4.8 rating needed to obtain it is over the past 12 months and not as a whole. So while you may have a 4.6 rating overall it's possible to have a 4.8 rating for the past 12 months and reach Top Pro.

yourfriendswith
Level 5

My only point is if I recieve 10 5 star reviews, it will not raise my rating measurably. I think Thumbtack should addopt a sliding scale based on # of reviews and not only the overall score.

azbowz
Level 4

To @yourfrindswith point, which one of these represents a more solid choice for a customer,  a pro with 5 reviews for the year, 4 of which are 5 star and 1 is a four star, or a pro with 100 reviews for the year, 85 of which are 5 star, 10 of which are 4 star, 4 of which are 3 star, and one is a 2 star? 

I think that latter will get more jobs, yet the former is the "Top Pro".  The sliding scale would mean that the more reviews you have the lower the average rating would need to be to earn "Top Pro".  

No one is suggesting that the rating be lowered say below 4.5, but if a pro is  doing several hundred jobs a year, you will run into a few customers that will try to use reviews to extort discounts or just not even give you a chance to correct an issue that can happen from time to time.  It only takes a few of these to drop you below 4.8.  

The problem is that the current system often doens't recognize who the "Top Pros" really are.  

Rch31
Level 4

I have a similar concern with the rating required and the lack of using cummulative reviews. I had a potential client reach out to me and then followed up with a text. When I did not agree to complete the services for his terms, he left me a 1 star review when I was never hired nor did I even agree to a job (or even a consultation). This one one star review dropped my rating and is impacting my top pro status. I repeatedly reached out to thumbtack support asking them to remove the review, sharing my side of the story, and yet I can't even get a follow up phone call or a courtesy message about their review process. I have been using thumbtack for over two years and they know they've gotten a lot of money from my quotes but they don't seem to actually support their pros. This is my livelihood and I take my work very seriously and it's really frustrating they don't have a process to support pros or remove reviews. And then they don't even use cummulative review rating for top pro! As a small business owner and the sole worker, I can only work with so many clients (and therefore get so many reviews) in a 6 month window. It would be nice to feel like thumbtack had my back with this client and the top pro process. 

carlgerace
Level 4

Agree with your comments

Moderator Meckell
Moderator

@Rch31 the only time we would remove a review is if it violated our Content and Review Policy, which I would recommend reading. If after looking that over you still have questions or concerns regarding the review on your profile, please send me a private message. I'm more than happy to have a conversation with you about this and hopefully resolve any concerns you have. 

RooterProsLLC1
Level 5

Some customers in today’s world no matter what you do to help, they can’t be pleased at all. Also, another thing I disagree with on thumbtack is when a customer makes a request then you come to find out its not for them it’s for someone else yet they are still allowed to leave a review. It should be the homeowner making the request or at least the customer communicating better with the company letting them know hey, I’m helping my elderly whomever put an it’s their home an they will be paying the bill. Also, if a customer don’t respond back to the company within 24 hours I feel that the company should get a refund. Companies work hard for customers business an shouldn’t be charged if the customers fail to respond back after asking for estimates or when you’re available. Thumbtacks a good company to work with, but as most it has some cons to it. Hope they can get all the flaws worked out to help better the business owners as we have families an just trying to make a living!! 

@Meckell  will you take a look at this an my profile with what I’m talking about. It was a third party person didn’t do business with her it was come to find out the mothers home, mothers sewage line problem an mother paying bill daughter had nothing at all to do with it yet still marked my company hired an left a review when she shouldn’t have as she had no plumbing problems an we thought it was her home an her mom was going to help her pay for the repairs that’s why she asked us to give the estimate to her mom an come to find out it wasn’t the case. Thank you for your time with this matter. 

Bestdaddy69123
Level 4

Your so right dude. They shouldn’t base our ranking so much on reviews. I had a similar situation. And they act like it’s a 10 commandment that they can’t help u with bad reviews. The people dining this program are not for us.

AllaroundPw10
Level 4

I agree 

fixfitness
Level 6

I couldn’t agree with these comments anymore!   I have strived hard to become top pro for the past year. It’s obvious who the Top Pro is in the listed categories that we serve in my geographic area. The person labeled as the top pro doesn’t even have over a 4.7 rating. What’s up with that?!  I Never received a single bad review in the past year.  The only customers that ever left a 3 or 4 star review, didn’t even bother to comment on WHY they weren’t 100% satisfied.  How is it possible to use this to improve on?  On a second note, missing the top pro from literally one 4 star review(not being 5) is quite frustrating, especially considering that Thumbtack wouldn’t remove a review left on accident by a customer who was able to leave two verified reviews for the same job.(one 3 star BEFORE the job completed and a 5 star AFTER the job was done).  The customer admitted they were just trying to send a message but were prompted to leave a review instead. This was not under my control, but I still get the short end of the stick. Another customer said they would have given 5 star review instead of 4, but the message asking the customer for the review was sent by Thumbtack  like 15 times to the customers.  They felt pressured and left 4 star instead. Once again, an issue completely out of my control...  

its true that when you get enough customer reviews, things like this can(and will) happen. But it seems that the dedicated “Real” Top Pro’s are the only ones that take the hit for these types of instances... just saying.

a sliding scale makes FAR more sense IMO.  Or at least allow the reviews that are sub 5 stars get corrected, if it’s clearly for a technical error or something out of the pro’s control.

cranichik
Level 8

@PhilippaB Do you realize that the Pro's here are Thumbtack's customers? I think we should be treated as such, using your 4 statements. I haven't used thumbtack much lately because of the poor customer service I receive.

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@RooterProsLLC1 I definitely want to hear more about this situation. Feel free to send me a direct message and be sure to include the customer's name on the job along with any other details that you may feel are useful. 

RooterProsLLC1
Level 5

Feel free to send me a DM an I will be happy to reply back to you as I don’t know how to send a DM on here I’m sorry. Thank you for your time an help with this matter. 

Thank you,

Constance 

Moderator Kameron
Moderator

@RooterProsLLC1 to send a direct message to someone here, just click on their picture, view profile, and the direct message button. However, it sounds like you've already been working with Meckell on this situation.