Sometimes the best way to learn about customer service is to directly ask the customer. Many companies use a system of feedback to learn about customer experiences. Feedback is an invaluable tool that enables businesses to mold their practices around customer choices and preferences.
If you’re not doing so already, you should be calling behind every single one of your plumbers after he/she leaves a job. If you don’t have the time, ask your call taker to do it. Develop five questions for him/her to ask your customer. Ask the customer to rate each question on a scale from 1-5. For example, please rate how friendly “Joe” was today. By asking for that immediate feedback, you’ll immediately know if your technicians are building happy relationships or creating problems.
Another great way to get feedback is to have your technicians give each homeowner a comment card with a self-stamped envelope. The card should ask several questions, asking the customer to rate his/her service. It should also leave room for comments. If the customer send you the card, send them a gift card for $10 to a local coffee shop or restaurant – trust me, the responses are worth it! If you get positive cards, you can share the great news with the entire team! It builds unity and pride! If you get bad cards, you know you have a problem and need to increase your training!
One last suggestion for you to get a great gauge on your customer service: arrange face-to-face meetings with good customers in a casual setting. For example, a business owner could schedule a luncheon or dinner meeting with ten of his or her best customers. That owner can choose a local restaurant that would be willing to add an incentive to both parties for attending: a discounted menu for the business owner (along with a private area) and free gift certificates to attendees for giving up an hour of their time to attend.
At the meeting the business owner can learn from the customers what they liked best about the service and also encourage critiques of what can be improved. It is casual, non-threatening, and win-win.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to do something in order to get feedback. Feedback is essential to keep your business thriving!