You know what is worse than spending money on a product or service only to find out that  good service does not come with the deal…NOTHING is worse, that’s what!!! Frustration, aggravation and at times psychotic fits accompany bad customer service experiences.

Because everyone remembers that day when they said…”it will be a cold day in heck the next time we buy from these people”. If we can identify some of the things that make us temporarily insane then we can find ways to avoid them all together. Here are some ideas.

1. Be consistent: if you are shopping for vehicles then there are certain things you are looking for. One thing is for sure, you want to know if you purchase a vehicle from a dealer that any problems the vehicle has will be covered under a warranty. The last thing you want to have happen is for you to be on the side of the road stranded with your family in a vehicle you just purchased. If it does happen you would like to think that a tow truck would be paid for in addition to a rental until your vehicle is repaired. Companies that deliver on consumer needs consistently are the ones you hear good stories about.

Companies who do not deliver, or companies that deliver inconsistent results are the ones that people rail about to anyone who will listen.

Bottom line if you find a company or service provider with a history of taking care of their customers consistently then you have found a winner and should probably consider them high on the list of people to do business with.

2. Accountability: No one wants to work with someone who refuses to accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong. Let me give you an example; if you are building a home and your builder tells you that your budget for the flooring you picked out will be $8,500 for the entire home. You assume that he is the professional and knows his numbers. One day he calls to tell you that there was a price increase in materials that bumped your budget up to $9,700. When you ask him about the budget he proposed he simply tells you that the costs were unforeseen and there is nothing he can do about it. What is the right thing to do as a builder? Well first off, when you tell a customer you will do something and you don’t do the diligence with pricing, you should take it on the chin and own your breakdown in the budget process. Most good businesses will do this, on the other hand if all businesses did this there would be no reason for me to write this piece. Look for a company or service provider who will be accountable to the process and make things right when they are out of the customers control. The last thing you need is to work with someone who can’t accept any responsibility for simple issues that arise in any business.

3. Flexibility: There is something to be said of people who just seem to make good things happen. Consider one of our Production Managers one day who went to a job site to run a roof installation. As some of the material were going into the dumpster, a few of the customers flowers were hit and damaged. The Production Manager was a quick thinker and gathered the remaining portion of the flower and headed down to the local nursery. He matched the flower and was given directions of exactly how to replant the flowers. As he was planting them the lady walked out and was so excited to see that he had taken the initiative to make something right, even though it was not in his expertise or scope of work, that she praised his efforts in front of several people. You see she was not upset that damage had occurred, she was happy that he was flexible enough to take the situation and get outside of his comfort zone for a solution. Good companies will be flexible when it comes to getting the customer what they need. You see it is not the effort that is rewarded it the results.

4. Appreciation: This seems to be a lost art but have you ever noticed that the companies that are grateful to have your business let you know it? They use those words of old…thank you and we appreciate you. It seems that when a company understands it’s place they are more likely to be better than average at showing their appreciation. This also includes thank you notes and a willingness to jump on challenges and problems with their products or services as they arise. They understand that if they work through a problem and are proactive with their approach then the customer will remember them for their solution rather than their hiccup of a problem. When we hear of companies that are willing to go the extra mile to show us how much they value our business that gives us peace of mind in working with them in the future.

At Tim Leeper Roofing, we understand all that and we live as we learn and just hope that more and more companies will ensure great customer service, especially in the building, construction and roofing industry since building and roofing projects often are a large investments in money and time.