First let me say thank you to all of you that took the time to comment and share last week’s post. It was the most comments and shares since I began, and it really feels good to know that you are out there reading these every Thursday.
Part of what I was writing about last week and want you to see was how exceptional a simple task can be if you think it through enough to create and execute an exceptional experience. By fully understanding what your customer has come to expect, you can create and execute a plan and install a system that far exceeds those expectations. When you do, your customer feels truly cared for and appreciated. They feel like you value their business, and even more, them as people.
In today’s world, so much focus has been placed on speed and price that service is often lost in the mix. Many businesses feel that customers will put up with really poor treatment if you can deliver the product or service fast enough and cheap enough. And that my friends, is truly a shame, it really doesn’t have to be that way!
I am just in the process of completing a move into a new house. As all moves go, there are always a series of events that add stress to an already stressful situation. With all the things that need to be done, you have to go out and get some professional help, or you are forced to try and do it yourself. Even if you wanted too, some things you have to rely on other people to do. I wanted to share with you my personal experience, so you can relate it to your own lives and maybe reflect on your business and see if there are a few things you might be able to improve upon to make your overall level of service better.
One of the outside “professionals” I have to deal with is the cable company for TV and internet service. In south Florida satellite service is spotty at best during the frequent thunder storms and phone internet and TV here isn’t much better. So, you either use Comcast® or you pretty much have nothing. So a few weeks before the move, we begin to schedule services and compare packages. When we spoke to Comcast®, they said that the new location had never had cable service so they would have to send someone out to check. It took a bit of follow-up, but we were scheduled to have our service connected between 3 & 5pm on Tuesday the 12th.
Well, at 5:15pm we had not heard from our installer so my wife called Comcast® to see what was going on. After more than an hour and two conversations, she was told the installer was going to call her in a few minutes and would soon be on his way. By 7pm, still no call and no installer. Another call to Comcast®, and another hour worth of back and forth, we were told that no installer was coming and that the best they could do was to be at our home between 8 & 10am the next morning. When my wife asked if they were sure this would happen, she was told that the installer would be there between 8 & 10am.
Discouraged and disappointed, our first night in our new home would be without TV and internet service. Not a huge deal if someone would have bothered to call us BEFORE our appointment and told us that service was not going to be provided as promised. The $20 Comcast® guarantee feels like little compensation for waiting four plus hours for nobody to show up. But, we go to bed and get up early so we can be ready to go about our day with the Comcast® installer between 8 & 10.
At 8am we get a call from Comcast® letting us know that our installer would not be coming as promised because every installer in the state of Florida was at a meeting this morning. No worries, we would be compensated $20 for the missed appointment and that our installer would be at our home between 10 & 12 to get the job done. Really, do any of us believe this? If Comcast® had any real competition for my business do you think they would treat people this way? Do you think they care? Do you really think $20 is just compensation for lying to me? Do you think just because you can get away with this kind of poor treatment, you should?
In the mortgage industry we need to look at our process and how we treat our customers. Do we make promises we know we can’t keep? Do we tell people things will get done by a certain time and then miss those deadlines?
All professionals should never promise what they can’t deliver. If you have a deadline and something goes wrong, you need to contact the customer BEFORE you miss the deadline, not hide from them and hope they don’t notice.
Speed and price are great, but never at the cost of professional integrity. Do what you say, when you say you are going to do it. If you are going to miss a deadline, be a professional and tell the truth! Adding lies to a disappointment isn’t the solution. Either is hiding behind voicemail, email, or telling me I should lower my expectations of what professional conduct is. How about the mortgage industry being a profession known for setting high expectations and exceeding them? We all know that hasn’t exactly been the case the last few years. Have we diminished expectations so far in this country that we just accept being lied too and expect that this is just the way it is? I can lie to you as long as I give you $20?
We all need to elevate the customer experience. We need to raise expectations of ourselves and our performance, not lower the customer’s expectation of what they should receive from us.
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