When you go to the hairdresser, you expect a cup of coffee and a recent edition of New Idea. When you take your five-year-old to the doctor, the child expects a lollipop. But when you call a plumber to fix a leak, you expect, well, little.
The truth is, people don’t equate customer service with plumbers. The negative perception has blemished the industry, making it hard for the good guys to make a name for themselves.
We’re not alone in this. Lawyers, tax agents and builders suffer from similar stigmas that seem to be as old as the dawn of time and almost as hard to shake off as a 100-tonne dinosaur.
But you can build a reputation. Here’s a sneak peek of how Pipe Perfection Plumbers’ system that helps achieve that goal:
#1: Answer queries
Have scripts and templates ready for receptionists and virtual assistants to use to ensure that phone and email interactions are consistently professional and pleasant. Doing this creates a great first impression.
#2: Send helpful information
Even if customers don’t act after making an enquiry, try to be as helpful as possible. One of the things we do is send potential customers a free e-book that discloses peoples’ rights in their dealings with tradespeople, as well as guiding them in their search for a suitable plumber.
# 3: Share expertise
We offer our customers a complimentary maintenance inspection of the fixtures and fittings both inside and outside their homes. Where possible, plumbers will also do some small adjustments for free and hand them a detailed ‘report card,’ listing necessary check-ups and replacements.
#4: Make a follow-up call
A week after a job is completed, we call our customers to see if everything is okay. Where possible, we take the opportunity to gather feedback using set questions, and discuss it in our weekly team meetings.
#5: Saying thank you!
This is our favourite step! We send all of our customers an environmentally friendly thank you gift and/or seasonal offers including vouchers. At the moment, we are sending out high-quality reusable drink bottles with our branding.
You may think, why give away so many freebies? It all comes down to exceeding expectations and ensuring that customers have a totally different experience with us. We have found that this becomes part of our unique selling proposition (USP) and really pays off!
Laney Clancy is marketing and finance Manager at Pipe Perfection Plumbers Sydney. It’s her job to make her customer’s lives easier – and she takes it seriously.