The long wait
We have an apartment for sale. We don’t live in it. It was my Mother-in-Law’s home but sad-to-say she is no longer with us.
The flat is empty of furniture and redecorated, but the carpets need cleaning. My wife telephoned a local carpet-cleaning business and left a voice-mail. They called back (rather oddly on a Sunday afternoon) to make an appointment to do this.
My wife waited at the flat at the appointed time to let the carpet cleaners in. In fact she waited an hour after the appointed tome. During that hour, both she and I called the business’s number, but we both got voice-mail and had to leave messages.
Yesterday afternoon the carpet cleaning people returned our calls and seemed unaware that they had missed the appointment. They asked if they could come round to do the job, but my wife said that she would give the business to someone more reliable.
What have we learned about the carpet cleaners?
- They do not monitor telephone calls so are not available to customers and prospects when needed.
- They do not follow up messages left for days.
- Their booking system is poor and unreliable.
- They are unbusinesslike.
- They do not realise their failings so…
- …they do not apologise
What can we surmise?
- They are too mean or cash-poor to invest in a proper telephone answering system to which they can respond.
- They have no concept of the meaning of customer service.
- Their business will fail or most probably already has even if they don’t know it yet.
What do we know we should do?
- Make sure our customers can find us and speak to us when they telephone.
- Deliver what we say we will when we say we will.
- Be courteous.
- In the event something has gone wrong despite the best efforts we always make, APOLOGISE.
- Make up for any failure promptly and maybe we can save losing their business.
We know all that. Can anyone explain why it is not obvious to our local business that may not get to clean many carpets? What do you think?