In the restoration industry, there are an estimated 170 million commercial losses and 40 million residential losses in the U.S. alone. That means the experts in our industry are doing important work every single day. And while it can be a dirty business, it’s also one that gives us an incredible chance to shine. That’s how successful companies in this multi-billion-dollar space build a reputation, a happy customer base, and a long line of referrals when people need them the most.

The key to achieving that success begins with how we treat customers, guiding them through jobs that will be uncomfortable and messy, but will also showcase our necessary, careful and skilled expertise through the restoration process. At the end of the day, our hard work can be downright heroic in restoring harmony to the lives of property owners and their most prized possession – their homes.

Here are four ways to make a difference in the lives of those we serve:

Think Like A First Responder

When business is about addressing disasters, our role for saving the day is that much more important. Just like the praise we give to police, fire fighters, emergency medical technicians and others, we need to hold our industry in the same high regard. It begins with timeliness.

When customers call, response time is critical. Whether it is smoke, water, fire or mold damage, they are experiencing an emergency and looking for an expert to act swiftly. The time it takes to be on the scene will create that first impression that can also keep a bad situation from getting worse.

Treat Property Like It Was Your Own

Do the dirty work in an expert way. It takes skills, training and certifications to tackle restoration jobs. And while things will get dirty, it is within our power to leave a property better than the way we found it. Treat homes as if they were your own. Do that well, and it will be remembered. Do it poorly, and run the risk that 95 percent of customers tell others about a bad experience.

From the way we arrive at the front door to the way we leave, and every step in between, we have a chance to show the utmost care. The best way to keep this top of mind is to remember what Henry Ford once said: “It’s not the employer who pays the wages. Employers only handle the money. It is the customer who pays the wages.”

Communicate With Manners

Good manners go a long way to building a great business. Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Life is short, but there is always time enough for courtesy.” The same is true in the fast-paced restoration and remediation industry. While we are so busy addressing emergencies, there is always enough time to show manners and respect in the process.

There is no substitute for simple gestures like saying “Please” and “Thank You”. They should be required communication training alongside the physical skills necessary to do a job. When we train a team to communicate with customers in a professional and courteous way, the lasting impression will be a positive one even under the most stressful circumstances.

Deliver On The Promise

There’s a popular phrase that things will get worse, before they get better. That’s entirely true when a typical day on the job can include tearing out drywall, pulling up carpet, and removing cabinets to get to affected areas that need attention. But it’s equally important to keep the end goal in mind and focus on the process that will deliver on the promise.

We must remind ourselves that putting the “restore” into restoration is where customers’ hopes and expectations live and breathe. When a job is complete, the happy ending can showcase the value of our services, earn the gratitude of our customers, and accomplish the mission for the health and welfare of properties and for the reputation of our business too.

According to a Harris Poll on the “Value of a Happy Customer,” 71% of adults in the U.S. would share a positive experience with other consumers.  That means for every happy customer we create, there is a potential network of friends, family members and colleagues who may one day need our services. Cheers for all the heroes who will answer their calls.