What You Can Learn about the Plumbing Business from Disney
I was thinking about a great vacation I had with my family at Disney World. The entire trip was truly magical, especially for our little ones. It reminded me that, even during the economic recession we experienced, Disney was still raking in huge sales and profit. They may have slowed a bit, but not much… and now they’re stronger than ever. Why is that?
Thousands of people still wanted the Disney experience. Yes, it’s all about the experience. Even when it’s hot and sticky in the middle of an Orlando summer, you still are filled with awe over what Disney has constructed. The rides. The costumed characters. The structures. It’s truly something to be seen—and I’m an adult! Remember what it was like to see as a kid!?!
Well, as service contractors, why can’t we try and duplicate that type of experience? No, calling your plumber will never be the type of experience as going to Disney World. However, you can create such a positive, warm, feel-good experience for each of your customers that they would NEVER think of calling another plumber!
Do You Offer This?
Consider this for a moment: If your technicians drive up to a home in a perfectly spotless, gleaming service vehicle. Your technician walks to the home wearing a crisp white, button-up uniform shirt and freshly pressed, navy dress pants. Your tech is clean shaven, has his hair combed, and a big smile on his face when the homeowner opens the door. He puts booties over his clean, dark work boots. Your technician says, “Hello, ma’am, my name is Bob. I’m here to take care of your problem so it doesn’t happen again, so you don’t have to worry about another interruption again.”
Wow. Talk about professionalism. When Bob investigates the problem, rather than just band-aiding the repair, he offers the customer options as to how she would like it fixed. Would she prefer the cheap, quick fix? Or would she prefer the long-term repair that will permanently fix the problem for good? (Of course, she’ll want the permanent fix! But at least Bob gave her the options—he didn’t TELL her what had to be done!) And before Bob starts any work, he gave the price of the job BEFORE starting… Never sticker shock when working with you!
Finally, after the repair is done, he pulls up the mats he placed all around the work area, so as not to get any dirt on any floors. Even though the floor is spotless (because of the mats), Bob brings out a mop from his vehicle and expertly cleans the floors so they’re gleaming—it’s better than when he got there! Mrs. Homeowner can’t believe it!
Finally, after Bob has left the home, Mrs. Homeowner gets a call from your company. Your call taker asks Mrs. Homeowner if Bob did a good job. “Bob was perfect. Thank you so much!” As icing on the cake, you send her a handwritten thank you note. You might even think of sending her a small gift—say a $5 gift card to a local coffee shop… a way to say thank you for being a new customer.
I can tell you when that new customer opens your thank you card and sees that gift card, it will make her day. She’ll be so impressed that you bought her a cup of coffee. She’ll tell all of her friends and coworkers about her service experience with your company. No, it’s not the same as taking the family to Disney World, but it will have been the best experience she ever had with a plumbing company! It doesn’t matter that she spent two times as much money with you than she did with that “other company I used to use.” In her mind, it was worth it! And she’ll call you again when she needs you! “I’d never use another plumbing company,” she’ll say to everyone.
You’re No Longer a Commodity or a Service
When you create an experience for your customers, you no longer are selling a commodity or a service. Consequently, you’ll reduce the number of customers you lose to your competitors, and you’ll survive and thrive, even should the economy get rough again.