How to Be a Standout in the Service Industry

We got all new gutters installed on our house less than a year ago. It was one of those expensive house improvements that nobody notices but my husband and me. But it was desperately needed, so we did it.

Then we got a roof leak. It, along with damage from a hail storm, was significant enough that we had to replace our entire roof. So we got that done about three months ago.

The leak is back.

When the roof guys reinstalled the gutters, they did it incorrectly, so our gutter guy has to come back and reinstall them all.

As an added bonus, we had new hardwood floors installed about six years ago when we bought the house. A threshold at the front door is bowing upward and the wood floor is loose in one spot in the dining room. My husband has left messages for our floor guy since Thanksgiving. It is nearly Easter.

We also decided to re-brick our patio last summer. We contacted a brick guy last July.  He swears it will be done by April.

Ah, the service industry.

It seems at any given time, we all have needs in the service industry in some way or another. We have a need and, if we can't fulfill it ourselves, we find someone who can do it for us. From plumber to doctor to teacher to private investigator and everything in between.

My own frustrations with a branch of the service industry have been magnified lately, mostly due to lack of communication, empty promises, and grandiose guarantees.

I am a private investigator, so I am part of the service industry. It's embarrassing to me the number of service providers (of all types) who fail miserably in customer satisfaction. 

If you are looking to stand out from the crowd and all the noise of your industry, here are four staggeringly simple tips that are relevant to every single service industry out there:

  1. Do not blend in with the status quo. Whatever your profession, whatever service you offer, step it up one notch from everyone else in your industry.
  2. Communicate with your customers/clients. It can be a simple voicemail, email, or even text. And, get this, you can and should even keep your customer/client in the loop when there is nothing new to report. (ie - "Hey, this is Rachele' with New Hope Investigations. I just wanted to drop you a quick line to let you know that there have been no new developments in your case, but I AM still actively working your case and pursuing the leads we previously discussed. I'll give you a ring by the end of next week at the latest so we can discuss the status of your case at that point, next steps, changes, etc. Enjoy your weekend!”)
  3. Do not make promises. Under promise; over deliver.
  4. Follow through, for goodness sake! If you say you’ll start working on your customer/client’s case on Tuesday, start it on Tuesday. If you aren’t sure you can start on Tuesday, then don’t make that promise in the first place. Easy as pie.

That's it. Four tips to becoming a standout in your industry. Because this is really all it takes.