Last week I had to hire two different service repair companies to fix broken appliances in my home. One company, I will never hire back and will never recommend to my friends. The other company, I have already told three acquaintances and have hired them to come back and do another project in my household.
What was the difference between the two companies? It was how the service was provided by the technician. In both cases, the technician resolved my issues, but there was a huge difference in how I was treated.
Company A, that I will never hire back, projected a negative environment from the moment the technician arrived. He didn’t give his name, didn’t have on a shirt with a name embroidered with his company or a name badge, and frankly, his clothes were dirty and greasy. When I asked several questions about the broken appliance, he never gave me eye contact as he responded and his tone was condescending. Once he repaired the appliance, he asked me to initial the invoice, and out the door he went.
For the other broken appliance, I called Company B. The owner answered the phone and actively listened while I explained the situation. He said based on my description, it most surely was the need for a hot water heater. He explained why and what it would cost. He advised on the best size and said he could install one the next day. Sure enough, the technician arrived on time the next morning, greeted me with his name and badge, petted my dog, and asked how my day was going so far. After the new water heater was installed, he offered advice on improving the efficiency of some of my other appliances. He thanked me for my business, encouraged me to call if I had any problems with the water heater and gave me his business card that had both an office number and cell phone number.
What a difference between the two experiences! Company B now has a loyal customer, Company A now has a disenchanted one.
New Voice Media said top reasons people switch companies are:
• Customers feeling unappreciated and unhelpful/rude staff.
• After a negative experience, 91 percent of respondents said they would take action;
• And 42 percent said they would leave an online review, which is up 8 percent from 2013.
It didn’t cost Company B any more money to offer the excellent service they did. It’s a matter of leadership setting expectations on how to treat customers, training employees on how to give good customer service, and a strong service excellence culture.
How do your customers describe your business? Are you a Company A or Company B?