I love companies that make it easy for me to do business with them. This last week I traveled to Manhattan, Kansas, for a small convention and stayed at a Fairfield Inn by Marriott. It was a beautiful hotel, was conveniently located next to the convention center, and had a very modern feel. The best part was it literally took two minutes to check in. Seriously. I stepped up to the reception desk, the manager asked my name, verified that I’d be staying only one night, then handed me my electronic door key card. Two minutes!
Most hotels make me stand there for 10 or 15 minutes while they type into their computer. They already have my contact information, they have my reservation, they probably already have a room designated for me, so why do I have to stand there for so long and what on God’s green earth are they typing into that computer? I don’t know, but clearly the Fairfield Inn has figured that out and fixed the problem so that I can get to my room quicker and relax after a long drive.
Shores Lawn & Snow is another vendor in mind that makes it super easy. They do a fair job of mowing my lawn consistently and it always looks nice, but the part I really love about them is how easy it is to pay them for the service. At the end of the month, they email me an invoice through an online payment service called “Stripe.” Because I’ve used Stripe in the past to pay other vendors, all my credit card information is stored on their secure servers. I simply open the email from them, click the “view invoice” link, then click the “Pay invoice” button and it’s done. No writing and mailing a check. No typing out my name, phone number, email address, credit card info into a website. Two easy clicks and I’m done, ready to tackle the next project for the day.
Another huge pet-peeve of mine is people that can’t seem to figure out how to delete all their voicemail messages. Apparently this is a big problem for many real estate agents as I find myself getting frustrated with them often over this issue. It’s super easy to open your phone and go to your voicemail, delete the old ones, then open deleted messages and hit “delete all”, but apparently that’s too much work for some people. The problem is that many consumers are irritated enough to not bother calling back again or sending a text message. I can’t tell you how many homes I’ve closed over the years from consumers that left a voicemail and I called them right back. Many of them tell me, “I called a two other real estate agents, but I couldn’t leave a voicemail.”
I think right behind the voicemail being full, and possibly even more irritating, is when I do leave a voicemail and no one ever calls me back. Many of my home related vendors are small business owners. They are busy and can’t answer the phone every single time it rings. I understand that and I think it’s even reasonable that I have to wait a couple hours for them to call me back, but if I get to the end of the day and no one has returned my call, then I’m probably not going to keep them on my approved vendors list.
My son Jake Henderson owns his own heating and cooling company called JL Henderson Heating & Cooling 816-352-0041. He’s a small business owner with a couple of employees and they specialize in new furnace and A/C installs. As Jake was building his business, I had many conversations with him about a variety of subjects, but mostly we talked about how to keep the customer happy. Jake doesn’t have a physical store front location, or someone to answer the phones. He’s the one taking the calls and if you get his voicemail, he will typically call you back in less than an hour. He said to me recently, “Heating and cooling is a very competitive business. If you don’t pick up the phone when they call, they’ll just call someone else. Many times, they have money to spend and just want to make an appointment so they can move on with their day.” Jake’s pretty smart and he’s a hard worker. He also understands customer service and making it easy for people to do business with him. He’s a good son and makes his father happy.
What’s your good customer service story? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I’d love to hear it.