Contents Corner: Making a Profit AND a Difference in the Restoration Industry
The restoration industry gives business owners a very unique opportunity. You can create an amazing business that pays you very well while providing services that can help a family or a community in need.
Whether you are dealing with a whole house fire, small water loss, water intrusion, tornado, forensic cleaning, storm, or a hurricane, the impact on the lives of those affected can be devastating. And most who are going through these types of situations have no idea what to do or who to turn to for help.
As a restoration business, we have an opportunity to be there when people need us the most; this is especially true when it comes to contents cleaning. The profit margins in contents cleaning are some of the highest in the industry and this affords us big profits in our business which enables us to do even more and have a bigger impact on those we serve.
Basically there are three things your restoration client wants from you.
- To be heard.
- To know what matters to them matters to you.
- To understand the process.
Provide these three things for your client and you will have a restoration business that not only makes a nice profit but also makes a difference. Here are some more tips on finding success and happy customers in contents work.
Let Them Tell Their Story
One of the most powerful things you can do is let your client tell you what happened. This will not only let them express what they went through, it will give them a chance to give you some very important clues as to what you need to do to give them a great experience while processing their loss.
Before we arrive on a job, we don’t know what someone has just recently been through or is dealing with in their lives. I’ve had contractors contact me for help with a claim and say things like “the homeowner is being difficult and just wants to control the job.” And that may be what it seems, however there could also be something else at play. It’s your job to listen to your client and let them tell you what it is they need from you. People want to be heard. It enables them to process emotionally what they’ve just experienced while giving them a sense of control over a situation that is usually chaotic and stressful.
Show You Care in Everything You Do
You’ve probably heard the saying “it’s the little things that matter most.” Well that is definitely true when it comes to contents cleaning. Every single thing you do from the moment you first meet with your client on site sets the tone for the entire job. How you pack their items once they are clean or how you stack those boxes once they are packed tells a client a lot about how much you do or do not care about what’s important to them.
People tend to equate their belongings with memories, meaning the monetary value of the item is obsolete. Something that just looks like a decoration or a knickknack to you could be a precious piece full of memories to the property owner. The wooden tiki that sits in my living room I bought while vacationing with Kevin in Maui. It’s not just a wooden tiki; it’s 10 magical days full of memories from our first tropical vacation together. Your client’s home is full of these kinds of items. Handle them with care.
Walk Them Through It
Processing contents on an insurance claim might be something you have done so many times it is second nature to you. But remember this is probably your client’s first rodeo and they have no idea how to navigate through it all.
ACV, RCV, depreciation, setting a reserve, rider, salvage and non-salvage are all terms we are very familiar with. Our clients on the other hand may have no idea what any of these mean. It’s our job to make sure they understand these terms and how they may or may not affect our bill for cleaning their contents.
Be careful to never speak for the insurance company or the adjuster on a job. You just want to make sure that your clients understand each term and how each of them will affect your bill that they are responsible to pay.
Confusion or lack of understanding is where a lot of problems come from on a job. If your client doesn’t understand what’s going on they can start to feel out of control and anxious. This can cause unnecessary stress and before you know it, your client is upset.
A lot of times, situations like this could have been avoided with a little conversation making sure that our clients understand the process and how the job will flow.
I have seen many businesses in the past year alone go through my contents restoration training and provide this extraordinary service to their communities allowing them to create an experience that takes a good business and turns it into a great business. I am so proud to be a part of an industry that allows business owners to have such a huge impact on their community.
So ask yourself…Is my business good or is my business great?