Are you all sitting comfortably? I am about to tell you a short story which some of you will relate to, and the less professional out there will probably ignore!

One day Mr X came into our office asking if we could help him out with an issue he had with his door locking mechanism. He had brought in in the main gearbox part from his door. It had stopped operating properly and came to us just on the off chance that we might be able to help him. He came to the right place!

Despite us not being a parts company, we can get hold of almost any part very quickly, which is what we told him. He asked if we could just supply it to him as he was going to fit it himself. Again, we said that was fine. We just had to take a picture of the gearbox so we could send it to our parts supplier to identify the right part. We explained to him that as soon as they found the correct gearbox we would get back to him with a price later on today.

But, due to late reply from our supplier and us being held up with customers, we weren’t going to be able to get back to him to tell him how much he needed to pay. So, rather than just leave him waiting and feeling disappointed at the end of the day, I rung him just to explain that we had not forgotten about him but were just waiting to hear back from our suppliers with a price. His reaction was pleasing. I think he thought that we would have just left it, not bothering to keep him updated and in the dark. The fact that we rung him just to say we were still on with getting him a price surprised him and he said he was very grateful. A rather good reaction to a fairly hairy fairy phone call.

I hope the message in that little tale was clear! Keep your customers updated at all times. Even if its something small. Even if its bad news. They appreciate hearing from you for something rather than nothing at all. It makes them feel undervalued, unappreciated and only serves to annoy. The better communication the happier the customer and the more likely they are to pay straight away at the end of the job. Remember, reputation is everything, and good communication skills helps boost that good reputation everyone needs!