Strategic Teams Achieving Results

Opportunity Missed – Why I Don’t Love My Plumber

Posted on December 12th, by Edward Gagnon in 2013, Blog. No Comments

joe plumber_290x136_scaled_cropp*** Author’s Note:  No cats were harmed in the writing of this article.

It was a cool winter’s morning, and we had locked our two cats (Max and Josie) in the bathroom overnight with food, water, and a litter box.  They needed to go to the vet for a checkup the next morning, and this was the best place to put them to make sure we could catch them in time to make our appointment.

All dressed up and ready to go, we opened the door to the bathroom expecting to see the Max and Josie sleeping on the floor or eating some breakfast.  We looked in, and they were standing on the counter next to the sink.  With horror in their eyes, they jumped over us and went flying into the hallway…literally!

What in the world was wrong with the cats!  And why were my feet wet!

Our House was a Mess

I looked down only to see water pouring out of the toilet.  It seems that the shower water from upstairs made it downstairs but didn’t quite make it out of the house.  Yuck!

So we whipped through the phonebook, and called the plumber with the best looking ad.  A gentleman came to our house, ran a “snake” through our pipes, cleared a clog caused by some tree roots that had entered our pipes about 20 feet outside of our house, and left with his check.

About 3-4 years later, we had a similar clog in the pipes.  So we looked through the phonebook, and called a plumber with a good looking ad.  The gentleman did a fine job.

Another 2-3 years later, we had a similar clog.  Again, we looked through the phonebook, and called a plumber.  The gentleman did a fine job.

We eventually determined (no pun intended) the root cause of the problem, and we’ve been clog-free ever since.

Their Sales Process is a Mess – It Turns Customers into Prospects

Each time we had an issue, we couldn’t remember the name of the company that had fixed the problem previously.  The company had done nothing to try to develop the relationship with us; they did not even periodically “touch” us with a personalized letter or communication.

Their Sales Process involved treating everyone like a prospect…even current customers.  They had us as individual clients, but then treated us like first-time leads.  They were all about Sales and Marketing; they didn’t address relationships and retention.

Don’t Miss Obvious Opportunities

The next time the need arose, we just called the company with the best looking ad.  There was no relationship developed with the prior plumber, and, therefore, there was no repeat business.

Don’t assume that your customer will remember your name.  Don’t assume they’re knowledgeable about all your services.  When their next need arises or the next referral opportunity presents itself, make sure the customer thinks of your company.

Develop a relationship with customers; don’t turn them back into prospects.

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