This tip, Make Customers Feel Comfortable, might be a no-brainer for many of you reading this blog. However, I am surprised at how often employees of home improvement companies can get customers into some awkward moments.
Let me give you a real-life example that happened this week.
A few days ago, we had solar panels installed on my home. The company that installed them had well-branded vehicles. They market their services heavily in my area, so they have an image to maintain. As the crews arrived and began setting up, they decided to turn on their music so all could hear. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is probably best to think about earbuds these days and keeping music quiet or silent. I know sometimes having a headset on could also violate some safety laws too. Yet, playing music was not the big issue here. It was the type of music they turned on. I was getting ready to head out the door for work, and my wife came inside to tell me that the music the crew was listening to was over-the-top sexually explicit.
Here is the awkward moment for me, the homeowner. I did not really want to tell the crews to turn down their music. I was willing to do that, but I thought the sales guy should know what was going on and deal with it. So I contacted him first. As a good sales guy would do, he was apologetic and said, “They know better than that!” Here is where it got uncomfortable. He said he’d take care of it and then followed up with, “I can ask them to turn it down but only if you want me to.” Wait! What? He was willing to let them continue to listen to sexually explicit music when I just complained about it? I was concerned about my kids and neighbors. My 11-year-old son also came inside and told me how bad the music was…as he heard just enough!
Why was it uncomfortable? The salesperson put me in a position where I had to choose what should be done. He wanted me to make the decision. I was leaving for the day and had concerns that we were off to a bad start criticizing the crew for their loud and gross music. I didn’t really want to leave my wife home with 4 guys on my roof knowing we just complained!
My response to the salesperson was simply this, “That is your decision. I’m just giving you feedback. You’ll have to figure out how to handle it.” Obviously he did something because the music stopped before I left for work.
I think the takeaway of this example again is obvious, but maybe it is a reminder for you. You might want to check in with your field guys and make sure they are doing things according to your company standards and guidelines. Make sure you are constantly training your staff to take responsibility and are never putting your customer in a situation that they feel stupid or defensive and so forth. Make the process painless and positive from start to finish. If there is an issue, make that customer feel confident that your company will take care of it – no questions asked!