Ever get customers ringing you up complaining about a defect with the product they have just bought from you, even though you haven’t produced it yourself? Lets face it, we all get them time to time, especially if you’re an installer.

That is why I think it is a good idea to explain the supply chain to them, so that they understand that not all the onus is on you as an installer to make sure every iota of the product is 100% spot on. Explaining to the customer that their fitted windows originally started from a profiler, who sent frames to a supplier to make the windows and doors who were then sent on to you, the installer. In some cases, glass is sought independently of the frames, so bringing in a fourth stage of supply.

The whole point of this exercise is to explain to the customer, if of course they are screaming down the phone at you saying everything is your fault, that the fault with the product/s may not be the fault of the installation company, but that you will now go back to your suppliers to find the source of the issues and make them put it right.

I’m not saying that an explanation of the supply chain should be used as an excuse to justify not putting right any of the customer’s issues. But I have found in previous experiences that once a customer knows it wasn’t your fault and may be down to one of your suppliers further up the chain, then they quickly have a lot more patience for you. As long as you give them assurance that you will find which supplier caused the fault in question.

A lot of the time customers get frustrated through a lack of knowledge and understanding. I have often found that an explanation of the supply chain makes the customer feel more part of the process and knows that we as the installation company can confidently go back to our suppliers to rectify the issue and will leave the customer happy at the end of the day. We even get some of our suppliers to see the customer direct!

I suppose this is an extension of the key rule to business: constant customer communication The more the customer knows then the more they’ll feel part of the process and know where their money is going and being spent. They feel at ease and their confidence levels and trust doesn’t dip.