Chris Gash

When a customer is unhappy with Majors Home Improvement, in Milton, Fla., owner Michael Majors personally deals with the complaint. Newpro, one of the biggest window replacement companies in New England, has the same philosophy. “It’s my name on the building,” says director of operations Nick Cogliani Jr., “and I want to show them that I will do whatever I can to rectify the situation as quickly as possible.”

Who soothes the customer, however, depends on the complaint at Newpro; a sales complaint is handled by the vice president of sales while the installation manager deals with any irate calls about projects, according to Cogliani. Newpro and other companies have learned that a speedy response to an unhappy customer can often mean the difference between an online rant and a smartphone full of referrals.

For Majors, most client complaints stem from miscommunication between sales and production. “If the customer feels they’re not getting what they were promised, we fix it and I take it up with the salesman,” he says. “When it comes down to choosing sides, I will always side with the customer.”

Timing Is Everything

Everyone agrees that time is of the essence. Majors follows up immediately or within 24 hours. “The quicker you can follow up and show your concern and start coming up with a resolution, the easier the customer is to work with,” he explains.

At Newpro, swift response has another purpose: preventing that complaint from going online. If someone chooses to post their dissatisfaction online rather than contact the company, Newpro responds with copy that always includes Cogliani’s phone number and email address. “We acknowledge it and we make every effort to contact these people and show the community that we really care,” Cogliani says.

Once resolved, Majors and Cogliani follow up with phone calls to make sure everything was handled satisfactorily because they know the consequences for not doing so: A lost a customer and no referrals.

—Mark A. Newman, senior editor, REMODELING.

Adapted from an article that originally appeared in REPLACEMENT CONTRACTOR, a sister publication of REMODELING.

Read the original article here.