Tips for Better Customer Relations

As I continue with this series on the customer side of the business, I got thinking about all the things I have learned or been taught over the years in regards to “dealing” with customers.

To start this off, in going over things, I remembered one very important point that has stuck with me all these years and that is that the customer judges the quality of service rendered based on their opinion of the service technician.  Your attitude, your appearance, your actions, either build confidence in you and your company for the customer or cause real damage to your and the company’s reputation. Think about all the little things you could do to create a “bad” impression — park on their grass — walk in with muddy shoes — have “plumber’s butt” showing — I could go on and on, but you get the picture.  Now think of all the things you can do to create a GREAT impression — put on shoe covers when coming in — walk on the path and not on the grass — look as neat as possible (even at the end of a long day).  That first impression is either going to put your customer at ease with you or create a feeling of mis-trust even before you start working. Now you not only have to fix the problem with the equipment, you need to fix the problem with the customer.

The reverse also holds true — if the customer’s home is “untidy” — don’t pass judgement. Accept whatever explanation is given — if any. Don’t make a show of straightening things up so you can work.  And when HOUSEKEEPING HABITS affect the equipment operation, speak of the equipment and what must be done — not the customer.  Nobody like to be thought of poorly.

When arriving on a service call, make sure you understand what the problem is.  Yes, this means you have to actually talk to the customer.. Find out “who”, “what”, “where”,  “why”, and “how” to show you really care and to be sure you solve the right problem.  Customers will tend to be emotional and usually are not technical, but if you take the time and LISTEN,  in most cases, they will give you a pretty good idea of what the problem is or at least, where to start.

A customer has a perfect right to complain — you need to not take it personally.  Remember, it’s not about you — the customer is frustrated because the heat is off or the air conditioner is not working and it’s 90 degrees outside.  They are frustrated with the equipment.  They are frustrated that your company was busy and could not get you there instantly.  You just happen to be the one who is there to receive their frustrations. Listen — let them vent — then shift the attention to the problem you came to correct and show them that you are on their side. And above all, ALWAYS let them have the last word.  By respecting their opinion or feelings, no matter how hard it is, shows the customer that you care about THEM.

Lastly, when closing the service call, make sure the customer knows you have solved the right problem.  Explain what you’ve done in terms of the customer’s needs and in words the customer can understand. If the job is not finished, tell the customer what needs to be done to solve the problem.  Make sure the customer knows what to do after you leave.

All of these little points add up to make a customer’s experience with you and your company a good one.  All of these points will increase the customer’s confidence in you and your company. THINK ABOUT THEM!

I have more information like this that I can share if you would like.  If you do — leave a comment or rate these posts or show a “like” and I’ll see what I can do to present some more information on this subject.


About yorkcentraltechtalk

I have been in the HVAC industry most of my life. I worked 25 years for contractors on anything from residential to large commercial boilers and power burners. For the past 23+ years I had been employed by York International UPG Division ( a division of Johnson Controls) as a Technical support/Service Manager but I am now retired. One of my goals has always been to "educate" dealers and contractors. The reason for starting this blog was to share some knowledge, thoughts, ideas, etc with anyone who takes the time to read it. The contents of this blog are my own opinions, thoughts, experiences and should not be construed as those of Johnson Controls York UPG in any way. I hope you find this a help. I always welcome comments and suggestions for postings and will do my best to address any thoughts, questions, or topics you may want to hear about. Thanks for taking the time to read my postings! Mike Bishop
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