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A Better Answer Blog

Customer Service Horror Stories: Spooky Results from Missing Calls

One of the best ways you can ensure your customers feel taken care of is answering the phone when they call. When you don’t do this, your customers will get upset and can leave you for your competitors who are there for them. The simple act of picking up the phone might not just make a happy customer, but could save your business from being taken over by brand snatchers. Take this as a cautionary tale, for spooky things might happen when you let the phone ring.

Steve Hale was an unassuming man with a nice business. He was kind to his customers, and they loved working with him. He had a roofing company called Hale Protection Roofers, and his business was booming. He had techs that drove cars running bids and crews in trucks. His office was bustling with a team of employees that he had known for years. They were busy.

Steve was never a superstitious man, but maybe he should have been. As he got busier, the phones started ringing. Then on one unfortunate day, it hailed from midnight to midnight, and the phone rang every minute. Steve’s roofs were good, but not that good. He knew he would need to start working on repairs. Steve’s phones were already ringing as the office opened, yet his techs were busy evaluating houses near the office and spreading outward, the construction crew was busy working on houses. Steve’s staff was overwhelmed, and yet they let the phones ring, he sent every available worker out into the field to help. Leaving customers wondering for days what would happen to their homes.

The next morning Steve was driving into work, and he saw one of his techs out evaluating a home, but his name was no longer on the truck. He waved, and the tech stared blankly at him, unrecognizing the man he’d known for a decade. Before long Steve reached the office. As he walked in, he greeted some of his crew as they got ready to go repair a roof and they walked right by him.

Steve thought maybe they didn’t notice him; they must have pulled a long shift. The day went on and everything went on as normal, yet the phones weren’t ringing.

The next day would be eye-opening for the man who let the phones ring. He tossed and turned all night, dreaming that the people he had been working with were almost not the same people. It was almost as if they had been replaced. He woke in a cold sweat and decided to head into the office.

He walked in the door and the usual bustle in the office stopped. Matt, his receptionist of years walked up and said, “Sir, can we help you find something? We are a little busy getting repair crews out to damaged homes, but we’ll be able to get with you in about ten minutes.”

“Matt! It’s me, Steve! How can you not remember me?” wailed Steve.

“I’m sorry sir, I’m so terribly sorry, have you been a customer with us before? Normally we try to remember every customer. Let me make it up to you.”

“This is MY company! Hale Protection Roofi…” Steve cut off as he looked at the sign.

It read All Weather Roofing. This wasn’t right, All Weather was his largest competitor. Steve knew this, but no one remembered him. As he screamed and ran through the office, tearing at everything he could, he found nothing. His office was different. His staff was the same.

You see, Steve had been brand snatched. By ignoring his customer service, he had let too many customers down and they turned to his competitor for help. Steve wanted to help them, but only had so much staff after an emergency. Since he sent his entire team on a repair mission, there wasn’t anyone available to answer the calls. His customers grew frustrated at first, then they worried. They decided to explore their options.

Don’t let your customers get brand snatched by ignoring customer service. It might seem easy to cut when the chips are down, but you need to act to keep customers happy. Just as Matt did, you should explain why your staff is busy and when they could help. That can go a long way when people can wait. Even if they may have to wait days for a roof repair, they probably expect that after a massive hailstorm.

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Topics: Customer Experience