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  • Making it right with customer

    I was sick as a dog for about 10 days. I had to postpone some appointments and was lucky when I had enough energy to do one job a day. My customers were very understanding and patient with me during this time, but I really dropped the ball with one.

    She made the appointment in the beginning of my stupor before I even realized how sick I was. I wrote the info down on scrap paper and never transfered the info to my appointment book. I totally forgot the appointment.

    She called at 1;00 appt was for 12:00. I was too sick to even go late. She took off work for the appt.

    I rescheduled for weekend so she wouldn't miss more work.
    I obviously waved weekend fees in this case.

    I did work at two of her homes.

    In the end, I ended up charging her about 1/2 price.

    I apologized up and down for my total unprofessional handling of her appointment and let her know this was not an acceptable way for me to run my business. I don't want to be known as "that" guy!

    She said I came highly recommended from her family and one of her friends so she admitted she was pretty disappointed at first thinking 'here we go again, the same old run around with people in the service industry'

    After the discounts and explanation she was happy and understanding.

    It's still bothering me though. I think I will send her a thank-you card with a gift certificate to the local bakery or something.
    INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
    Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

  • #2
    Re: Making it right with customer

    It's good to see you doing what you can to keep your professional image in tact, many people in our industry would not have stepped up and did what you did and I definitely congratulate you for it! However, what do you do when you face the flip-side of the coin and get a customer that complains about EVERYTHING you do and keeps calling you back hour after hour to try to rectify stuff you did, even though you know it was done right? I tried to start a small lawn care business with a friend this summer and ended up with a guy like that. The guy would call me up everyday and tell me my trimmer cut his grass too low or that he was convinced I used some sort of chemical to kill his grass, when the grass was dead to begin with. I knew I wasn't doing anything wrong as I maintained three other yards this way including my own for years before doing his, and all the other yards looked like a putting green.It got to the point where he would not even let me mow his lawn, so after cutting my bill down more than 50% I decided to tell him to do his own lawn care. Needless to say, he did not pay me and since he took over mowing and caring for his own lawn it looks like crap. He just runs a mower over it once a month with no bag creating bad thatch and lines. Every other customer I have is satisfied and call me regularly. Oh, how I hope to be plumbing again in new const. and not have to deal with jerks like him. Sorry for the novel of a post, just wanted to know how you deal with people like this?
    Last edited by Marklar89; 09-06-2009, 02:51 PM.

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    • #3
      Re: Making it right with customer

      Gene,

      My salute to you sir! Your attitude and concern for "professionalism" is most refreshing to this home owner. I'm one who was raised by a father who thought very much of his customer relationships. Of couse that was a half century ago and in most recent experiences as a home owner, I find such attitude to be extremely rare.

      Thanks for the post and for your service attitude,

      CWS

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      • #4
        Re: Making it right with customer

        Bravo!

        As a homeowner, I'm use to professionals (all trades) screwing up and either acting like I've inconvenienced them when I call or... they just never call back at all. It's great to read about someone that actually behaves like a person!

        I used to own a shop that built engines, mostly race and hi performance engines. My clients were mostly small time racers, and we tried to do right by them. I learned that as long as you get it "mostly" right, you have to remember that no one is perfect. But you CAN be perfect in how you handle your mistakes.

        I bet you've got a d*mn good business going there, based on your approach.

        Once again, Bravo!

        -Andy

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Making it right with customer

          I call that human error. If people can't except that with humans comes human error once in a blue moon then they can talk to the machine, kind of like when you call your bank or wireless provider.

          Ooooh how fun is that...."press one for Spanish or two for English" you press one "I am sorry I didn't understand you..." press one again "Thank you, good buy" click.
          You call back again and this time you get past the Spanish, English thing. Then you hear "How can we help you, press one to check your balance, two transfer funds......" you press one and you hear "if you would like to check your balance you can visit us on the web at ......... goody bye"
          DOH DOH DOH DOH.
          Then your calling your wireless provider from a pay phone because you just chucked your cell phone on the highway. "Press one for English and Two for Spanish......."


          Anyways, you did the right thing Gene. I hope your feeling much better now.
          Your a class act. Keep it up!

          Dan

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          • #6
            Re: Making it right with customer

            Originally posted by Andy_M View Post
            I learned that as long as you get it "mostly" right, you have to remember that no one is perfect. But you CAN be perfect in how you handle your mistakes.
            -Andy
            I agree 100%. We all make mistakes, it's how we handle ourselves after the mistake that truly counts.

            What I don't understand is why is it so hard for some business's to do the right thing?

            It's simple, if you make a mistake you do what you need to do to make it right with the customer.
            INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
            Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Making it right with customer

              On the flip side, as Marklar89 points out, I would not hesitate one sec to drop a customer that can't be satisfied.

              I so far have been fortunate to never have this "customer from hell".
              I think it's because I spend as much time on customer education as I do the actual job, so they have an understanding of whats actually going on.

              But I understand, that at some point I will face the customer from hell, and when I do I will call DUNBAR and completely follow his instructions even if it involves a Twinkie in places they shouldn't be, for he is the master of the PIA customer dis.
              INSIGHT PIPE is now Maine Drain Serving most of ME with no charge for travel! 207-431-6232 is nolonger a working # our NEW # is 207-355-1476
              Sewer main snaking (roto rooting). Sink clogs. Sewer backup. Pipe inspection/locating. No Dig trenchless repair. Root clog removal.We are NOT to replace your local Plumber, as we do not do plumbing. WE ARE YOUR DRAIN CLEANING EXPERTS!!! www.sewermaine.com waterville winslow bangor augusta skowhegan fairfield pittsfield oakland

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Making it right with customer

                Gene! I couldn't agree more about PIA customers, and the ones that "won't be satisfied". However, your handling of the case in question, where sickness prevents you from keeping your usuall standard, is an example to every true professionall. With my deepest respect, - David.

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