Improving Customer Service Is Not What You Say But What You Do.

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“You had me at hello” says Carmen Morehead, but quickly states how customer service was lost with failure to follow through.


In the article ‘5 Ways To Lose Good Customers’ they state that it is not just the purpose of a business to “create a customer”, but to “keep a customer”

I too believe this to be true and that is why I feel compelled to share an experience I had that illustrates what a business should not do if they want to keep a customer. All I can say is “WOW”.

I received a flyer in the mail that you would “be in my neighborhood”. You drew me in by your personable approach “We will call the day before, The crew will ring the doorbell to make sure your car is out of the garage, No payment is required upfront, as Company X is guaranteeing a perfectly neat job and that you will be happy with the workmanship before making the payment.”

Your quote was very reasonable with the “FREE crack filling”…we had a crack! Awesome! You are the company I want seal coating my driveway. You had me at “hello”.

The day my driveway is done…..
1. No one ever came to my door — the crew was all about the task — no personality.
2. They were done in 10 minutes. — I was impressed with the speed, but I was left with the impression that “we’re only getting “X” amount of dollars on this driveway so get in and get out.”
3. I can’t say for sure that my driveway was “machine cleaned”. I saw brooms.
4. The crack, unfortunately, was still a crack.
My affection for this company was slowly waning.

2 Days Later……
I call Company X and talked to Team Member A explaining I was not satisfied with the workmanship. The crack in the middle of our driveway was not done with precision and was more like “let the slop fall where it may”.

Team Member A was very kind as to “put me on the list” and “it may be this week or next, I can’t say for sure”. I trusted Team Member A at her word. Well, October turns into November and the snow comes. Can you imagine what I’m thinking now? Where’s the love?

Months Later…..
I get a bill and a phone call asking for payment. No one acknowledged that the job was not complete. I call and leave a very calm voicemail explaining the whole situation. I get another phone call asking for a credit card Number. Ummmm, excuse me? Now they don’t even acknowledge my phone call?

I finally talked to Team Member B that is in charge of the crew. “Well, it would cost me 60 bucks to come out there and fix it.” Am I supposed to apologize? I guess they didn’t put much thought into the logistics. When I brought up the “Guarantee”, he literally tried to redefine it and tell me what it really meant.
He gave me a $30 price break and I’m still very reluctant to send in the check.

BFO (Blinding Flash of the Obvious)
• Don’t make yourself look better on paper. When your true identity is revealed, your customers won’t be happy.
• Put 110% effort and attitude into the “added on value” or “free” service. Let the customer feel like they are walking away with the better end of the bargain when it really only cost you pennies.
• A job can be about a “numbers game”, but don’t let the customers in on that. Take a few minutes to say “Thank you for letting us serve you today.”
• Once you make a guarantee, follow through! Otherwise, you’re just a liar.
• Live by the motto “Under-Promise and Over-Deliver”. Always try and do a little more than they expect.

Company X and I have obviously parted ways. They must be doing well. I heard they got a role in “How to Lose a Customer in 10 Days”.

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