It’s a puzzle to me when I observe sales people who do not treat their existing customers like pure gold. Surveys prove over and over that it is much easier to get the next sale from someone who has already purchased your product or service than from a prospect who has yet to do so.
My wife and I were delighted with Mitch when we first met him. Our roof was leaking in a mid-winter rain/sleet storm and we called him because a friend recommended his new company. Mitch did what he could to get us a temporary fix until we were able to re-roof in the spring. To make sure that his prices were in the ballpark, we did our due diligence and got a bid from another company. After finding that their prices were similar, we chose Mitch to do the work because we were impressed with the way he had treated us.
Satisfied with the shingling job, several months later we again selected him to put new siding on our home. For the most part, he was very good at returning phone calls on a timely basis and getting the job done close to his projected schedule. We were more than happy to recommend him to friends and acquaintances who were planning to re-roof or re-side their homes. Interestingly, however, things have changed since the job has been completed.
A month or two after the fact, on an unusually windy day, a trim piece blew off the large window in the family room. Fortunately, we were able to find it in the bushes and gave him a call asking Mitch to repair the damage. It took him several weeks to complete what turned out to be a fifteen-minute job.
Later, our son had a roof problem and we recommended that they call Mitch, believing that the window trim situation was an aberration. To our dismay, however, their calls to him went unreturned so they found another roofer to take care of their situation.
More recently, we had a question about the new gutters that he had installed along with the siding. They did not seem to be draining properly so, again, I left him a voice mail asking him to give me a call or stop by. That has been almost two months ago and we have not yet been contacted. My guess is that he eventually will do so (and I certainly intend to follow-up until he does), but my trust and confidence in him as been seriously eroded.
Mitch has no idea that one neighbor has been over to ask about his prices and service. At one time, I would have sung his praises to the high heavens.
I will report our experiences, positive and negative, and let my neighbor take it from there. Whether Mitch simply decided that we would have no use for a new roof or siding for another thirty years (so why bother?) or he has so much business that he can’t handle it is anybody’s guess. One thing for sure–he has not grasped the importance of keeping a good customer happy.
He has already lost my son’s business and is not likely to get that of our neighbor. Sales people…and we are ALL sales people…need to remember to “dance with the one who brung us.”
We simply cannot allow ourselves to disrespect our clients and customers by not following up after the sale. Good will, so difficult to earn, is too easily lost.
Bill Sheridan—SHERIDAN WRITES: bio under Guest Authors
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