Treat your customers how you would like to be treated

I was reading an article the other day which dealt with someone’s experience dealing with contractors.  It reminded me of a remodel we had to do several years ago due to a flood.  It was an interesting experience dealing with plumbers, flooring companies, cabinet replacement, countertops etc.

Before this project I must say the I was naive.  I just figured we have an insurance check, so it will be easy because they know they will get paid!  Boy, was I wrong.  First of all, the insurance company is trying to save as much money as they could and wanted to avoid mold remediation.  Can’t blame them for trying to save $8000, but how would that have affected the value of my home?

So, I had to fight with the insurance company and next came dealing with vendors.  Vendors that don’t call back, vendors that are late, vendors that want to argue, vendors who whine about not making enough money after they screw things up and it costs them money to fix.  The list goes on.

It was a lot of work to find the right vendors and get the remodel completed to my satisfaction.  One thing I realized is the level of craftsmanship and competency in some of these trades was less than what I was expecting!

Yes, I am picky, but when you are spending the type of money we are speaking about, you should be picky.

I have 2 points here to discuss.  First of all some of the contractors put themselves out of the running quite quickly because they could not put together a quote in a timely manner or did something very unprofessional in the quote itself.  So, I guess you could say they weeded themselves out by natural selection.  I mean, if they can’t even pass the quote stage, something is seriously wrong.

Now the second part is, I specifically remember getting 2 thank you cards.  One was from the flooring company that we ended up using again recently and the other one was from the least likely company for us to ever use again, the restoration company.

So I challenge you to think about how you would like to be treated if  you needed the services your company provides and take an inventory of policies and procedures.  Does your company get quotes out in a timely manner?  Do you follow up with customer’s to see if they are satisfied with on-going work or work that has been completed?  Do you offer incentives for your customers to give you referrals.  Remember the old cliche “word of mouth is the best advertising”  Do you leave brochures, cards, coupons, magnets behind to make it easy for them to remember who you are?  Do you put up yard signs so passerby’s can get your phone number if they happen to need your services?  Do you get email addresses from your customers?  Have you thought about what the impact would be if you sent your customer’s a birthday card, holiday card, etc?

There are so many things to do before, during, and after the job!  If you take a look at this I am confident you will find something that you may not already be doing that could greatly impact the success of your company!

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