Article Library

Winning Customer Service Part 1 (Part 2) (Part 3)

By Chris Margarites, Technical Director for Eternabond®

A few years ago, when I was a contractor, I sent a service technician Dino, to a service call, which turned out to be over his head technically. After about an hour of trying to diagnose the problem, Dino, shared with the customer that he could not help them. He then called the office requesting a more experienced technician. It was a busy day and our top technicians were booked. After a few hours, we called the customer to update them on the busy status of the technician scheduled to service their call. After we explained our dilemma, the customer simply asked if we could just send Dino again. Our dispatcher repeated that Dino could not find their problem, to which the customer responded, "But he was so nice. He provided great service!"

No one in the company spends more quality time with the customer than the roof repair technician. No one has a greater impact on customer loyalty. The roof repair technician is the company's good will ambassador.

This is the first in a series of columns that are intended to help great roof repair technicians become even better. I will not refer to you as roofers, repairmen or mechanics. If you are able to diagnose roof problems and fix them, then you are a professional roofing technician and you have earned the right to be addressed properly. The fact that you are reading this column says something about the way you see yourself. You obviously must have a heightened sense of responsibility to stay informed and current in your profession.

It takes great skill to perform exceptional roofing services. I have worked on homes and commercial buildings for over 25 years and no one respects a skilled professional roofing technician more than I do. The mere fact that your work involves repairing homes and businesses means that you face challenges much greater than just how you repair the problem.

Professional roofing technicians are proud of their technical skills and should be. There is a lot to know about different roofing systems. But?brace yourself?your customers don't always care how skilled you are technically. Don't believe me? Isn't it true that when you are done with the job, your customer wants to feel like you did a good job? Here is the BIG IDEA: your customer determines the quality of the work you performed for them?on emotional factors. They want to feel that you did a good job. Many customers do not know or understand the technical precision of your work but they do understand how they feel.

Here is the truth that you can take to the bank: over 80 percent of all people who hire someone to provide a service, base their decision on the quality of the work on the relationship they have with the technician. In other words, their quality perspective is based on their opinion of the professionalism of the person doing the work. When push comes to shove, many customers really do not care how technically accurate your work is, they base their feeling about the work on their relationship with you.

This 80 percent principle can revolutionize your thinking and advance your career if you build your job approach around it. If, on the other hand you choose to ignore or disbelieve it, frankly and unfortunately, your success will probably suffer a lot.

Think about it. How many times in your career has a customer complained about a job you did, when you knew that you provided quality work? Their problem is that they didn't feel like you did a good job. The good news is that knowledge is power. Now that you have the knowledge of the 80 percent rule, you can work on developing the power to change the customer's opinion of you. It is easy to control, once you know how, so it becomes predictable, repeatable and extremely profitable. Then you can focus attention on doing the really tough part of the job, which we all know is diagnosing and fixing the problem, once and for all!

In future articles we are going to learn the easy steps to develop what is known as Cheerleader Customers. Cheerleader customers are those who are so satisfied with the way they feel about you, their service professional that they spread the word, which ultimately leads to success for you and your company.

As appearing in Western Roofing Magazine January/February 2005, Pages 60-65

Winning Customer Service Part 1 (Part 2) (Part 3)