An Urgent Thank You!

An area that I often find myself offering advice to flooring dealers is suggesting methods of improving communications between the sales personnel and the installers. The dealer that has no cause for concern in this area seems to be in the distinct minority today. Two questions that I ask seem to speak volumes regarding a given business’ installer – sales staff relations.

The first question that I ask is: What is your action plan when the customer calls and is dissatisfied with an installer’s performance? The answer is typically to the effect of, “I call him immediately and tell him that his performance was not up to the customer’s expectations. I tell him to get back out there and fix the problem. I just hate it when he makes me look bad!”

I then pose the question: What is your action plan when the customer calls and is pleased with the installer’s efforts? The response received is typically less emotional, like: “I put a note on his next work order”, or, “I tell the service manager to pass the word along”.

My response is: “Why is good news less urgent than bad? Shouldn’t we have the same desire to share a compliment as a complaint?” Ask yourself this question: if every time I saw your name light up on my cell phone it meant bad news, how anxious would I be to talk to you?

Installers obviously do their work correctly more times than not, or they wouldn’t be invited to stay with the company. Make it a goal to “catch them doing something right”, then respond enthusiastically. This is the only way that they will accept bad news with the correct attitude should it occur. You’ll feel good when you make the call. Who knows, they may even return the compliment one day! Be the example that you want them to emulate.

Tom Jennings

Friday, January 4, 2013