To: Michele Miller
From: Bill Chase II - High Tech Corp.
Date: Jan 6, 2009
Re: Real Life Example
My name is Bill Chase. I own a Home Improvement company in Haverhill, MA (approx 35 miles north of Boston).
Thanks for your notes on marketing. I really enjoy reading them. Also, enjoyed reading your book and look forward to the next one.
The reason for my email is I wanted to share with you a recent experience that related to one of your last email topics, Connection vs. Control. My experience is an example on giving her control and if you are honest with her and reveal transparency she will become a loyal customer and evangelist for your brand.
A few years ago I did a large project for a single mom we will call Amelia. Amelia is independent and owns her own business. Her life is hectic as she cares for her 8 year old son and runs her business. She has no time for delays in her life. When I presented the samples on my original visit she knew what she wanted and went ahead with the project that same day.
The project was going well until the town stopped us for remodeling her front porch. This was due to a special variance needed that my company failed to obtain. After dealing with the town and having to go before a variance board this delayed the job for almost 3 months! Her house wasn’t in shambles but didn’t look the best. She was very upset with us to say the least.
How did I handle this situation?
I did not blame my staff for the mistake or anyone else. I took full responsibility for not getting the correct permits to begin with. I simply told her I messed up and had made a terrible judgment. I also gave her my cell number so she could be in constant contact with me if she wanted to. I also took the time and went to the variance meeting with her as she plead her case before the board.
Ultimately, we got the correct permit and completed the job. I must admit I had to bite my tongue a few times throughout this process but never lost track of the goal of making Amelia happy and completing the project.
Fast forward 2 years later:
Last week, I got a phone call from Amelia.
Her neighbor recently stopped her and commented on how nice her house looked. The neighbor wanted the company’s name who did the work for her. Amelia not only gave her my card but called me (on my cell phone)to give me the potential clients information. I guarantee you she would have not reached out the way she did if her problem was not handled the way it was a few years back.
Problems occur in business. Nobody is perfect. This example shows if you are honest and up front despite bumps along the road (some bigger than others) most customers will understand and if handled correctly will be champions for your brand.
Looking forward to a great ’09.
Bill Chase II
Hi Tech Windows & Siding