You may have heard something about the unusually cold weather we've been having in the U.S. I live in Tulsa, OK and was essentially snowed in for several days. I also have a home in Arkansas and was concerned about pipes freezing and mopping the floors without me. As soon as the roads cleared on Saturday, my husband and I headed to Arkansas.
Sure enough: the temps had gone above freezing after a week of minus degree weather, and pipes were bursting all over town. My hot water heater, which fortunately is on the outside of the house, was squirting water high into the air.
I called a plumber.
My normal plumber said , "Monday at the earliest."
Not good: I was booked at a client's office that coming week.
I googled "plumbers near me" after the first one couldn't solve my problem and called plumber number two, River Valley Plumbing.
The phone was answered by one of the cheeriest voices I've heard in months. Remember, this was Saturday, not a day they are normally open. I explained my plight and she promised to see if one of her teams might be close by. Meanwhile, the geyser continued. At least they could perhaps come by and shut off the water.
Desperate, I called plumber plumber number three. They promised to call me back, although to date, I haven't heard from them.
River Valley suggested I call the the city water department. They actually answered and had a team out within 15 minutes to shut off the water.
Meanwhile, plumber number two , River Valley Plumbing, showed up. Two young men decked out in winter apparel and mud appeared. They turned the water back on and identified the problem. And fixed it! Then, they carefully came into the house and asked us to test the bathroom fixtures and the kitchen sink. Bathroom number one was spewing water around the sink: they fixed it. Bathtub was dripping faucets: they fixed them.
Kitchen sink was partially frozen: we were instructed to leave water on till it thawed completely then to call if there were a problem.
Plumber number two, River Valley Plumbing, greeted me with hope when I called them. Then, they followed up with service. They saved a damsel in distress. They made it possible for me to meet my travel obligations the next week. (They didn't know I was under a time deadline, my Level Three reason). But they did know that I had a problem and they found a solution. All the employees I encountered were courteous and helpful. Not once did I haggle on price or even ask what it was.
When you meet a need, solve a pain, money is not the object!
I also admired the two young men (probably not yet 30) who were willing to work. I'm sure you've all had problems finding people who want to work? They were serving customers in difficult weather and circumstances.
So, what's the moral to this story? Our clients must super-serve their customers. Yes, it's not easy to solve plumbing problems online, but that's how I found plumbers two and three. Note I only knew one plumber's name, one I had used before. No other company had advertised enough to put their name into my brain. So, I went online and "googled" it. That's a normal pathway today for consumers unless a business has BRANDED their name into the file drawers of potential customers with effective, continuous advertising.
How the phone was answered by these three businesses made a huge difference. One said, "No hope for 2 days." Three said, "They'd open a ticket" with no promise of when they might get to me. The second gave me hope, gave me help. Guess which one I'll call in the future?
This also speaks to how we solve problems for our clients. Ever had one call you at 5:00 pm on Friday needing to change copy? Or over the weekend needing something changed due to unforeseen circumstances? Do we cheerfully solve their problems? If so, we earn points that will strengthen our relationship with them.
Extraordinary service is the key to recovery in 2021: for our clients and for us!