Our first book review is based on the work of Adam Toporek, "Be your Customer's Hero." There was a lot of good information in this book about the relationship between service professionals and customers. I can cite the main takeaway from this book in the authors own words...
"To be your customer's hero means to make his day a little easier and put a smile on his face. To be your customers hero means to solve her problem and lessen her stress. To be your customer's hero means to decrease his anxiety and make him feel appreciated. Put simply, To be your customer's hero means you've had a positive noticeable impact on your customer's day."
Often times, we as tradespeople focus all of our energy on the task of becoming the best tile installers we can be so a lot of the technical aspects of customer service get put by the wayside. This book reminded me that our number one priority is the happiness and loyalty of our customers. It also helped me see what part of our business we are really good at because of our business system.
In chapter 20 the author spoke about what he called service triggers. The one that stuck out to me was the service trigger of being "shuffled". With abigger company often times you have to speak to three people to get what you want. We've all been victims of this situation: You're on the phone with one person...you tell that person your complaint...and in response you get "I'm sorry, let me transfer you to x,y,z department. That is being shuffled. Being a smaller operation like we are our strength is that you will never be shuffled. You talk to the person doing your work and therefore the person with the power to make decisions. A positive for our customers.
Another important part for me that magnified my weakness was when he spoke about not taking complaints personally. I'm guilty of that because of my passionate state. Sometimes I just need to back up and realize that complaints or comments are a learning experience and often times have nothing to do with me.
I also took a lot from Chapter 13 called "Everyone's been burned". We run into these customers all the time that have been shafted by construction companies in the past. We actually love these customers because we get to repair their wounds with our excellent service and trade competence.
The last point I took from this book was to LISTEN and ask a ton of GOOD QUESTIONS. Those are items I can improve on as well. My goal is to make my customers feel a certain way and help them attain a desired outcome. How can I do that without hearing them out completely?
I'm putting effort into being better , so what can I say. I'm definitely not perfect in any way and it is a lot to juggle wearing multiple hats...worker, artist, installer, manager, leader, sales, accountant, etc...but I wouldn't have it any other way. The only limits I have are the ones in my mind. This book put a mirror in front of my face letting me see my weaknesses and my strengths as well as giving some very handy real world tips on customer service. I want to be your hero! Let me be your hero!