Certified Service Center

CSC Edge's Newsletter for Jan 2021

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EXPECT MISTAKES

Many times, I sit and try to think of new topics to write about during the year and then I experience something at the hands of a local service company that unfortunately gives me a new topic for my next EDGE Article. Here is the story - you can figure out for yourself what went wrong in this service situation. A few weeks ago, I had an estimator come out to give me a quote on doing some waterproofing work at my home. Got the quote as promised and scheduled the work for 3 weeks later due to their current scheduling. Stayed home on the day the work was scheduled and was told that the window for the work to be completed would be between 12 noon and 3 PM. So far so good. Finally, at 3:30 I called the company since nobody showed up and was surprisingly told that someone had already been at my home and could not do the work because of physical space constraints at the job site. I was home and never got a call or even heard the doorbell ring that afternoon. I called the Company Office that same afternoon. The gentleman on the phone sounded concerned and said he would find out what could be done and call me back. Never got a call back, so I called the same gentleman again at noon the next day and left a message inquiring as to what he found out about this situation. Finally, at 4:40 the day after, I got a call from the guy who gave me the original quote and was told that he made a mistake on his quote and the only solution now was to have the work done by hand at 3 times the original quoted price and I would have to go back in line to have this work done in 3 to 4 weeks.

What went wrong here and what would you have done differently in this same situation? This reminded me of the basics that have been taught for years about how to handle a customer problem promptly and how important it is to take corrective action internally after the fact.
Here are the basic recommended steps for resolving a problem or concern:

  • Contact the customer immediately. Don’t wait for them to call you.
  • If the Customer calls you indicate your willingness to find out what happened and call them back within a designated and defined time frame. Take ownership of the Customer’s problem and respond when promised even if you do not have an answer yet. Keep the customer informed.
  • If a mistake was made by your company start by admitting it and apologize to the Customer, then explain what happened.
  • Explain the recommended corrective action that you propose or indicate steps to begin investigating a workable resolution to the problem.
  • Get the Customer’s approval on your recommendation.
  • If that is not acceptable always escalate the customer’s concern to management.
  • Expedite the corrective action for the Customer.
  • Follow up after the work has been done to guarantee total customer satisfaction.
  • Take corrective action internally to prevent this kind of mistake from happening again.
  • Make sure that this whole process happens as fast as possible.

When you have a Customer and then lose them because of a mistake on your part or an unresolved problem make sure that you did everything possible to keep that customer and learn from that experience. We all make mistakes and should have a written policy to do everything possible to save every Customer. Many times, if handled properly, a mistake can actually strengthen your relationship with a customer because many companies unfortunately just go on to the next job because it is too much extra work to handle the problem resolution properly.
One of the important requirements on the CSC Application is a customer problem resolution policy with a focus on keeping every customer possible. If you do learn from the mistakes and handle all customer problems properly you will keep every customer possible.

In this case I will call another company to do the work because on the steps listed above this company got 2 out of 10 correct. If a mistake is made, the customer must feel that you are concerned and will go the extra mile needed to resolve their problem quickly. Usually that is all it takes to turn an angry customer into an existing and loyal customer.
Never miss the opportunity to save a customer. They are all unbelievably valuable!

 

 

Don Pierson
January 2021

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