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How to lose a customer

Paul Fredricks_3
Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,557
Send an anonymous letter. You don't have to tell them the date or location, or even the name of the serviceman. Be sure that you tell them the repairs were done properly and timely(if that's the case), but let them know that you did not appreciate the radio, loud or not, and that the serviceman seemed rather unfriendly. Hopefully they'll use the info for some company wide customer service training.


  • Larry (from OSHA)
    Larry (from OSHA) Member Posts: 717
    Not to be confused with firing a customer

    I guess I've been spoiled by past experiences and have had people in my house that must have read Dan's "21 things you can expect from us".

    I read with great interest the post about firing a customer, and there are lots of reasons why someone would not want to continue to do business with someone.

    As you all know, this goes both ways. These days it really doesn't take much for a consumer to think "well, I'll never do business with this company again".

    I've had my fill of short lived appliances from the company formerly from Newton Iowa where dependability is touted as the top selling point. I won't go into details but every single kitchen appliance purchased in 1999 has needed repair parts.

    Today, the dishwasher was repaired do to a recall. The factory sent the parts and I called one of a handful of authorized repair companies to do the work.

    He called at 8:00 and said he was lost. Only a block away so that wasn't so bad.

    Comes in with tools and radio in hand. I ask if his shoes are clean (since the road is torn up and is now dirt) He looks at his shoes and says "yup".

    I'm not opposed to the guy bringing in the radio, although I did think it a little odd. First he listens to some right wing talk station and then flips it over to a Bible thumping religious station and turns it up LOUD.

    By the way, this guy has a demeanor of don't talk to me written all over him. So the few questions I had stopped quickly.

    Now I could have said to him that I thought it a bit inconsiderate to crank the religious radio so much, but he had the dishwasher torn apart and all things considered, I just thought I'd let it go.

    Here is the point I want to make.

    I could call the company and tell the boss how I feel, but I won't. In today's world, getting someone reprimanded could be dangerous to me and my family. I know a thing or two about aggravating people (even though I try very hard not to).

    So this repair company will never get my business again. And I know that I'll have occasion to mention the experience to my relatives and friends. Bad news travels fast and far.

    Your line of work is different, but you still have employees going into someones house. How often do you remind them that even though it is their workplace, it is also someones home. Being respectful is, in my opinion, as important as doing the job right.

    My rant and 2 cents worth for the day.

  • DanHolohan
    DanHolohan Member, Moderator, Administrator Posts: 16,526
    I love this post.

    Retired and loving it.
  • mtfallsmikey
    mtfallsmikey Member Posts: 765
    I learned quickly after

    Dad told us this: When you step through the customer's door,you treat it as if it were your own; consider every thing you say or do, manners and respect for the customer and their property foremost. Can't go wrong that way. While I was on vacation last week (at home)I got to talk to some old friends / customers that I haven't seen for a long time, asked if I was still in business, or contemplating going back into business instead of doing this "extreme commuting" that I do..heard lotsa horror stories about rude service techs, shoddy work...if only the insurance wasn't sooo high!
  • Brad White
    Brad White Member Posts: 2,398
    The Loneliest Repairman shows up

    and you have to wonder why, Larry.

    Good point on going over his head and why not to. Like the dinosaurs of eons ago, the likes of your serviceman will go to extinction without ever knowing why.... It pains me to see people so blind to how others see them. I mean, we all have that to an extent, that blind spot in the self-criticism mirror, but your experience shows a void of human awareness one usually finds in penal institutions everywhere :)

    Like the sign in small mom and pop restaurants says, "If you enjoyed your experience, tell your friends. If you did not, please tell us."
    "If you do not know the answer, say, "I do not know the answer", and you will be correct!"

    -Ernie White, my Dad
  • Bruce Stevens
    Bruce Stevens Member Posts: 133
    Who turned up the music

    Larry, enjoy your posts and I agree with you however I find the Heavy Metal and some of the Rock to be just as offensive yet I am subject to it on a regular basis I am the jerk if I ask someone to turn it down but if I listen to talk radio I am looked at as the jerk, so why not either keep it down if you must play period. I do not listen to anything unless I am alone and especially if I am in someones house for minor repairs. I might if I am alone doing install work but only if alone.
  • Dale
    Dale Member Posts: 1,317
    Warranty work

    My 2 cents is to wait a few days and send an unsigned letter to the service co. reflecting your feelings and observations,the poor service co. owner may need to let someone go someday and this will help. I must add though that, while getting qualified persons to work in HVAC is very hard, appliance repair is many times worse. And, a lot of service companies have dropped warranty work completely for some brands, including the latest WP aquisition, why, not even enough $ to cover costs, let alone a profit. So, you are kind of lucky anyone came, and if the repair was done correctly, ahead of the game.
  • Tom Hopkins
    Tom Hopkins Member Posts: 554

    actually more important to fix the customer than the boiler!

    To Learn More About This Professional, Click Here to Visit Their Ad in "Find A Professional"
  • Larry (from OSHA)
    Larry (from OSHA) Member Posts: 717
    you are very welcome

    What should be common sense apparently isn't so common for everyone.

    I've been able to reap countless benefits from being here on the Wall and if my limited perspective can have a positive impact on anyone, I'm glad for that.

    Happy Fourth.

  • Larry (from OSHA)
    Larry (from OSHA) Member Posts: 717

    What you suggest is the stand up thing to do. I'll think about it for a few days, but right now I don't know if it's in the cards.

    Thanks for your perspective.

  • Maine Doug_64
    Maine Doug_64 Member Posts: 27
    I feel your pain....

    Over the years I have had similar, worse and better. Some I have just thrown out. Others were trainable. And the rare gem was rewarded with referrals and lunch and whatever they wanted.
    Service economy replacing the manufacturing economy? A sorry attempt maybe.

    I have learned to do some appliance repairs and get help and parts online from repairclinic.com
    And I am learning how to service my Reillos.
    Even here in Baltimore, my other home, it is hard to find good service. Like when the furnace was replaced- they made a big point of explaining why they were putting tarps on the carpet to keep it clean. And then one of the dolts dragged the furnace out of the way over the carpet- the stain is still there!

    The country is doomed.
  • lee_7
    lee_7 Member Posts: 458

    I learned the same trhing from my grandfather, who started our company back inthe 40's. Treat their has BETTER then yours, keep it clean and no radio unless ok'd by customer and no obnoxious stations. We always leave the residence cleaner then when we came home.
  • laurence salvatore_2
    laurence salvatore_2 Member Posts: 86

    My prarents have owned 3 washers,2 refridgerators (No.1 sits in their basement still keeping things cold its only crime that it was born green), and one dishwasher in their 40 years in the same house.. All from Newton Iowa The youngest appliance is 19 or 20 years old. I followed the tradition, and in 10 years I am on my 3rd washing machine, now a Boshe, my 2nd dishwaser , now a Boshe. I have had the fridge fixed twice waiting for the germans come out with an American sized refridgerator. They have and the next peep I hear out of it its gone. To quote my mother, "we don't have enough money to buy cheap goods". I would also like to point out that next to that shiney Boshe front loader, sits a pink gas clothes dryer that came with the house and says,"Miss M...." in chrome along the streamlined console.Miss M is used 3 cycles a day in the summer and 5 in the winter. Off in the corner still hooked up and ready to handle the frequent overflows of the plumber in winter and the sporty outside children is Miss M's pink mate repleat with chrome and streamlined console. Ahh, the jet age I wish I could have been there. When we get to absolute zero in manufacturing and all the apples come from China, who will the service companis service? Other service companies? Me thinks the emperor has no clothes.
  • Larry (from OSHA)
    Larry (from OSHA) Member Posts: 717
    the sad update

    I wanted to just move forward and be happy that the experience was over. But not to be. The repair was supposed to prevent leaks that cause shorts and lead to fires. Well it was just fine before he fixed it, (you've heard that before) and now it leaks and gets the electronics wet and doesn't appear to be wired correctly either and I had to call to have someone else come over. My request to have a different tech do the rework did not seem to surprise the guy on the phone. Go figure.

    On the one hand, this is certainly annoying, but on the other hand, if this is the worst I have to complain about, I'm pretty lucky.

This discussion has been closed.