The Cost/Benefit of Customer Satisfaction

By: Brian Schutt  |  September 29, 2010

Every worthwhile enterprise should start with high goals.  For us, the high goals include complete customer satisfaction.  The classic saying tells us that “the customer is always right.”  The flip side, of course, is when “rightness” is under debate.

So taking the factors –> Goal of complete customer satisfaction with the unfortunate reality that human beings are imperfect, we inevitably run into an issue or two from time to time.

One such time, came in early in the summer when temps got into the high 80’s in late May.  A customer called when their air conditioner was pushing out warm air.  By the time our technician made his way to the house, the condenser (the outdoor unit with the fan) had stopped working altogether.  What was not communicated, and should have come out during the diagnostic was that this same issue had happened a year prior, and another hvac company recommended replacement of the air conditioner.

Without this information, our technician proceeded to made a fix to the condenser and add some refrigerant, which enabled the system to get up and running again.  This service call was on a Friday, and before the invoice reached the customer on Monday the system had already stopped working, and the homeowner had called in some competing companies.

Upon receiving the invoice the customer was irate at the fact that we were invoicing for “not fixing her air conditioner”, and felt gouged by our attempted collection.  It’s my personal philosophy and business goal to always seek first to understand another person.  So with that in mind, and the Homesense commitment to customer satisfaction, we made the decision to refund all labor and profit from the job.

I tell this story to illustrate that 1) everyone makes mistakes even when you have great processes in place to mitigate issues and 2) if mistakes are made, we’ll always put the customer and our brand first, above and beyond any short term financial gain.  We hope our transparency leads to greater trust from our customers, and helps in some small way to restore the reputation of our industry.

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