It s my belief that Customer Service is the ONE key thing that will help business survive in this current economic environment.
Anyway today I stayed home for the day. It took some arranging but I stayed home. I was waiting for two sales people to come from two different Solar Hot Water companies. We called Dux and Rheem to get them to send people out so we could check out the leading brands. Our aim was to make a decision over the weekend. Dux had one of their resellers make an appointment and they committed to be here between 10am and 2pm. Rheem on the other hand could not give a clear time that they would be here.
Around mid day neither one had called or been to the visit. I decided to be proactive and called both companies just to confirm that someone was indeed coming. I contacted the Dux reseller and introduced myself and immediately he said Oh Mr Small from (my home street address) I was just about to call you. He proceed to apologise and tell me that due to the cold snap that their team was stretched and that they would not be able to make it today. He enquired as to when it would be best for them to come again and offered tomorrow (Saturday) as the first available option. Great I accepted an appointment for Saturday morning and his apology.
I then called Rheem they confirmed that yes they would be there by the end of the day. Cool I thought and I went on with the work I was doing.
Later in the day at 4:30pm I got a call from Rheem that I missed as I was on the phone. Michael from Rheem left a message for me to call him back. I called back but he was busy and I spoke with one of his colleagues. I was then told that no they could not make it today and asked which day next week could they come out. I suggested Saturday to which they replied We don t work Saturdays.. . I expressed my extreme dissatisfaction that 4:30pm was not the time to call a customer to let them know that you would not be making it out there today. They offered no apology and failed to understand that basically they d put me out all day waiting for them. They further could not commit to a TIME next week so as to make up for the mess up today. Had I known at 12:00pm when I called them both that neither would be coming, I would have gone into the office and gotten some of my work done, but I could not.
So these are two examples of customer service in difficult situations one of them keen to help, the other clearly not. We ll likely proceed with the guys that come out tomorrow provided the price is reasonable simply because of the customer service they showed today. Rheem you lost a potential customer today and you don t seem to care.
So what is the takeaway from this? Our customers are the ones that pay our bills. Their satisfaction should be our prime concern because if they are happy then the price they pay will not be the thing at the front of their minds. They will be focused on the excellent customer service they get from you and THAT will be the thing they value more than anything else. It s certainly something that I ve believe for some time and it seems to work for us.