The hazard of being a PR and marketing professional is that you find yourself constantly stepping out of normal experiences and viewing them from a business perspective. I find myself cringing at cashiers sharing the intimate details of their lives. “#Customer service fail,” I think to myself. “Someone needs to tell her when a customer asks, ‘How are you?’ they were just being polite.” Or when I pull up to a client’s office, and view it from a potential customer’s eyes and see weedy flower beds and discarded trash in the parking lot. It doesn’t paint a picture of the ‘subject matter expert’ people are following on social media.
Likewise, I don’t hesitate to tell companies when they are doing an awesome job. Which is where my plumber enters the picture. I wish my plumber was my client – or more clients were like my plumber – because he’s doing everything right.
As a long-time customer, the company has my email address through which I receive season tips and offers. It was recently that I received one of those which reminded me that my disposal wasn’t working, and I needed them to come out. I clicked on the “call us today and receive a 20 percent discount” number, and the phone was answered by a helpful, courteous person who set up the appointment “between 3 and 5 p.m.”
Not to point any fingers, but UNLIKE my cable company, 3 to 5 p.m. begets a call at 2:30 to confirm a 3 p.m. appointment. And, even though I need a new disposal, and I write a $400 check, the pain of that purchase is mitigated by a plumbing professional who takes the time to explain some care and maintenance that will maintain the life of the new addition. He also cleans up his mess, throws away his trash and talks about how much he loves his job and respects his boss. As a customer, this makes me feel like I made a good decision hiring them.
I was also impressed with the plumber’s use of technology. He looked up the estimate for the new disposal plus labor on an iPad, I “signed” off on the work and a receipt was emailed to me before he cleared the driveway. This is says to me, “This is a reputable company that has invested in both its people and technology.”
There’s just no replacement for good customer service. I’m a repeat customer
Be consistent in your customer communication. Their weekly information reminds me they are there when I need them
Invest in technology – and a good Customer Management System – regardless of your line of business
Simple lessons … not always so simple to implement as successfully as my plumber. Something for us all to work on!