We have just had a new patio laid here at Stewart Towers and I wrote the cheque out for it on Monday evening. Yesterday however, we noticed that all the cement between the slabs was breaking up and leaving little bits of cement all over the place.
I was a bit mad so I rang the company and said I seemed to have written the cheque out a little prematurely as the patio is starting to fall apart already. Anyway, about 9.15pm last night the phone rang and it was the MD of the patio firm. He was gutted about the problem we were having and promised to be round next day (today) to have a look. He turned up first thing this morning and confirmed that the frost had damaged the pointing and that they will repoint the entire patio as soon as possible. He also said one of the workers will be round later today to clear all the horrible bits of cement away to clean it up in the meantime. Guess what? 3.15pm and the chap has just arrived to start sweeping and clearing.
I call that excellent customer service.
All my initial trepidation about the standard of care we would get after we paid the bill has proved unfounded. What a refreshing change!
Only recently I have been commenting to people around here that “Is it just me or are shop assistants getting more stroppy and sour faced by the day?” I had thought customer service was about dead. The local Chinese Takeaway is the only other place I have experienced excellent service and attention, and I wrote about that in my recession busting tips report.
Generally, businesses I deal with that provide some of our services here are good examples of how not to make friends and influence people. They are grumpy, sour faced, off-hand, un-caring, un-helpful and generally don’t want to know about a sale, let alone any questions or issues I may have.
Do you find this around your area?
How often do we have a job done in our own homes, such as a patio, double glazing, plumbing, electrical stuff, carpet cleaning, building work, fencing etc… but never hear from these companies again?
Sometimes it is honestly a blessed relief because the experience was so painful at the time we wouldn’t want to use that firm, or person, again. But occasionally, wouldn’t it be good for us as customers, to be remembered and valued for our contribution to the sales of that business?
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we were contacted periodically and thanked for the opportunity of allowing that company to work for us, and being given a voucher or special offer for another of their products or services?
What a refreshing change it would make if these businesses cared enough to keep their name uppermost in our minds so that we don’t have to go searching through Yellow Pages or similar the next time we need a job doing.
How amazing would it be to be invited as a special guest to a seminar or charity event that company is hosting which we may find interesting.
Be honest – how often does it happen? Next to never – that’s how often!
What about your business?
Do you treat your customers/clients the way you like to be treated? Are you and your staff always courteous, friendly, helpful, smiling? Do you follow up each and every sale to gradually inform each customer/client exactly what other services/products your business can supply?
If so, how long to you do it for before you “give up” and assume that person will never buy from you again. One year, two years, six years?
If not – why not. It is your duty as the owner of a successful business to delight the customer and make it easy for them to deal with you?
Why would you ever treat a customer with distain or contempt just because you were having a bad day?
Too many businesses do exactly that and wonder why their business is always struggling.
The long christmas holiday is almost upon us and it is an excellent time for an honest, detached, look at all aspects of our businesses to see if we are failing our customers in certain areas and to decide on strategies to deal with those shortcomings as soon as possible.