Today, customer service is all about making life as easy as possible for potential customers. And whether you run a service-based business or sell products to order, business quotes are key to providing a good customer experience.
As well as giving customers access to the information they need to move forward with a sale, providing customer quotes, although it takes a bit of work, can be hugely beneficial to the way you run your business. Here are eight reasons why.
1. Ensures you and the customer are on the same page.
Most business owners know all too well that it’s crucial to outline a scope of work before taking on any project. This is especially true if it’s a project with a lot of working parts or will take a considerable amount of time.
By giving customers quotes at the outset, you ensure both you and the customer understand the requirements of the job at hand, what’s covered, and how much it’ll cost.
2. Establishes a minimum base rate for the work.
Unforeseen circumstances can and do happen. Providing a quote before starting any work establishes a base rate for the job and outlines exactly what’s covered by that rate.
So, even if your client decides to swap out their basic LED downlights for antique crystal chandeliers, you’ll be able to refer to your original scope of work and update the quote based on what’s changed.
3. Helps you break down what’s needed for the job.
Once you’ve discussed your customer’s requirements, your itemised quote is a great starting point for planning out the job – including resources, materials, and staff needed to carry out the work.
4. Allows you to plan your cash flow.
Keeping cash flowing is an ongoing challenge for many businesses – especially when you don’t know what tomorrow will bring in terms of customers and sales.
Having signed-off quotes for jobs helps you forecast cash flow and profits. This allows you to invest in the resources you need, knowing you have upcoming work in tow.
5. Assures potential customers you’re a reputable business.
Customers want to know they can trust the business they choose and offering free quotes upfront is an assurance you’re transparent about pricing and won’t hit them with any nasty surprises down the track.
6. Opens a line of communication with potential customers.
Of course, there will be times when potential customers decide that your quote is out of their price range.
Nonetheless, putting in the time to provide quotes establishes a relationship with potential customers and shows them you’re honest and upfront. This could be what’s needed to sway them in your favour next time.
7. Provides valuable feedback about your pricing.
Whether you’re starting out in business or introducing new products or services, it can be tricky to get the price right from the outset.
Offering customer quotes can help you get a feel for what’s a reasonable price point. If the majority of customers are happy to accept your proposed costs, you’ll know that your prices are fair. If you receive a lot of push back, you might need to rethink your pricing strategy.
8. Protects you if a customer fails to pay.
In an ideal world, every customer would pay their bill on time and in full – but the reality is payment delays are common across many industries.
In most cases, these scenarios can be resolved with a simple reminder. But if you do end up in a situation where a customer won’t pay, evidence that they’ve accepted a written quote for the work can be helpful in resolving the dispute.
Tips for preparing customer quotes.
Clear, professional business quotes demonstrate your credibility as a business, provide a great customer experience and help protect you from legal and financial risks.
When preparing quotes, it’s a good idea to:
- Put it in writing, either via email or on paper.
- Make sure each component of the project is clearly itemised and priced.
- Include a disclaimer that a requote may be required if the scope of work changes.
- Make sure the price is signed off on by the customer before starting work.
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