Chapter 4 Steps for Success
Chapter 4 Steps for Success
So far I pray that I have influenced you enough to start taking a look at customer statements differently and notice different results with communication and profits. Today we will mainly concentrate on giving the customer an inspection. We already have looked at the initial issue the customer is facing and we have informed the customer that we can take care of it. Remember we do not want to limit it to we can fix it or we can repair it so it is; we can take care of it for you.
A natural reaction and response from a customer when the trade’s person has looked at the problem is to ask right away how much? Avoid giving a price at all costs. Why? You are not prepared to give a price at this time. There is not enough information at this time to give a price. Using and continuing with the toilet analogy you do not know if a minor repair, whole tank rebuild, brand new elongated toilet or a brand new ADA toilet is necessary.
Customer asks how much reply with simple sentences. Here are some best practices to reply to the how much question; Ron, relatively inexpensive or Ron not much at all. Some other responses can be; we will cover that, we will get to that, we will go over that. For that ever insistent customer asking how much a clever way to reply is Ron the best thing today is if you decide to do nothing it will cost you nothing. Never limit your solution to a price. If and when your solution and services is limited to a price quantifier you will never satisfy the customer and turn him or her into a loyal customer. We are talking about conditioning your customer and setting a standard for customer behavior.
How important is the inspection? It is extremely important to you and the customer. When there is no inspection it now has transferred the service call into a commodity that is controlled by a price only fixation. When anything lives by price it dies by price and there is no loyalty. The loyalty is to the cheapest price. Personally I cannot exist with disloyal customers I need and want loyal cheerleaders that dig my product and service. You may be afraid at first to show the customer that you are in charge of their choices however you must give the customer the right information to make an informed decision that best serves the customer despite what they may believe or think at this time.
There are many correct ways to ask for an inspection. There are many wrong ways to ask for an inspection. For some unknown reason this is really difficult for some tradespeople to grasp. It is apparent that the tradesman does not believe that it matters with the way you ask for an inspection. Typical ways to ask for an inspection are; I take a look at your plumbing and see if there is anything working improperly or wrong. I will take a look at your plumbing and see if everything is working ok. I take a look at the plumbing to see if stuff is working right. Let me make sure your plumbing is working right for you. All of these ways to ask for the inspection informs the customer if you do the inspection it will end up costing them money. It also forces the customer to lie to you with the standby response of everything is working fine. I will guarantee you that you will discover 3-5 things wrong in every home. Anywhere from a loose toilet seat to a loaded up with debris aerator to hair in a lavatory drain or tub drain. You may discover a loose packing nut on a washing machine valve or even a bad washing machine hose. Whenever a customer lies to you it is tied directly to something you have said or done that forced the customer to speak an untruth.
A tremendous way to ask for an inspection is to ask it this way; I do an inspection, what I do is tighten any loose toilet seats, loose faucet handles. I replace common aerators and remove hair from the lavatory drains. How about, I start here. Your first 4 words are major and key to receiving the inspection it is I do, I give, we do, and we give an inspection. This implies you do this on every house you visit. Let us say the customer still is vigilant to say no, everything is alright. My next words are it is free and I do this for every home. Still getting resistance, the things I do are things you do not want to call a plumber, HVAC, electrician for and they are things we do not want to warranty. You get these things whether I do the work or not and it is free. You will discover with belief and conviction rarely will you have to do more than the first few sentences.
With stoppages the inspection is a given as you must make sure it is local or throughout the home. With a stoppage you must recreate the problem to give the proper solution and to know where to begin. With a whole house stoppage it would be irresponsible to clear the drain from the farthest stack or fixture. With a water line break you must run all fixtures to be sure that there are no blockages in the aerators or fill valves.
A killer to the inspection and customer interest is when someone opens a cabinet door and bends down and just stares into the cabinet. Open the cabinet door and look for debris located on the cabinet floor. This will inform you of calcium deposits on the trap, emergency shutoffs, and faucet. Check to see if the shutoffs work. Next lift the toilet seat and give it a shake and see if it is loose, if the toilet rocks try tightening the bolts. A rocking toilet is an indicator that the wax seal is compromised and no longer gas tight and no longer water tight. Run the disposal and take a look inside the disposal. Fill the disposal side up with water and then turn the disposal on to be sure there is no drain arm partial blockage. Run all faucets to check the ease of turning the faucet on and off.
Next take a look at the water heater notice the age, breaker size and the relief valve, check the emergency shutoff. Make notations of the customer’s products that you can enter on your accounts receivable customer profile. Frequently the washing machine is located by the water heater and it is a perfect time to check the valves and hoses. Locate the house emergency shutoff, backflow devices, expansion tanks and any other plumbing fixtures including filtration. All of this may take as much time as it takes you to read this blog.
Today is the day to start giving your customers a free inspection that allows you to become familiar with their home. The customer now knows and understands that you are their trade’s person. Most customers if not all of them will be pleased with the service and are appreciative. Many more will tell you about problems they have as you are doing their inspection. You will never make 100% of the people happy however I can live with 99% of the people happy. You may discover 1 out of 300 that will not allow the inspection when you ask for the inspection the right way.
Now get out there and over achieve while giving the customer a different experience. Let them know you are there for them when they need you. Build for the future and your future starts now with the inspection.
Posted on July 24, 2012, in communication skills, construction services, electrical sales, HVAC sales, plumbing sales, sales technicians, service industry and tagged HVAC, Inspection, Plumbing, Steps (group), Tap (valve), Toilet, Toilet seat, Washing machine. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.