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Sitting on the Fence

Over the years the gate leading into our back yard has deteriorated and needs some serious repairs.

Not knowing anyone who is in the fence business I went to the Google-machine and started looking for fence companies by my house. I looked at each one’s reviews. One company I found had all five-star reviews. I went to the company’s website and here is what I found:

XYZ Fence is a new locally owned fence company that serves the Central Texas area. Our company may be new, but our employees and contractors have over 25 years of experience installing fences. We design and install cedar wood privacy, etc.

As I read this I was excited that I had found a new company that installs cedar fences and MK and I could help them with their start. We’ve all been there, haven’t we? I convinced myself they would do an excellent job and provide a fair value. I called them only to learn they were out of the office, but I could leave a message. I gave them my direct office number and my cell phone.

That was Tuesday. No call back.

Okay . . . okay. Have patience, Mark – after all this is a new company. I was sure they would call back on Wednesday. Crickets.

The same on Thursday. The company I was excited about giving business to was now the last company on the planet I would ever recommend.

It made me think about our industry. What does our website say that we do? What do the people who answer our phone promise? What about our techs – if they are going to be late do they call or text?  If not, why?

My best friend retired not long ago and is now in project mode. Everything he needed to get done around the house he is now starting. What shocks him is the poor service he gets from virtually everyone he deals with.

I wanted to see just how bad service is in America, so I went back to the Google-machine:

  • An American Express survey revealed 78 percent of consumers have bailed on a transaction or not made the purchase because of a poor service experience.
  • Another source revealed that a typical business hears from 4 percent of its dissatisfied customers. Ninety-one percent of those customers will never come back.
  • The White House Office of Consumers Affairs tells us that loyal customers are worth up to ten times as much as their first purchase.
  • This Consumer Affairs division also tell us that it is six to seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer that it is to keep a current one. And for every customer who bothers to complain, 26 others remain silent.
  • Another source reveals that 80 percent of companies say they deliver “superior” customer service. Eight percent of their customers think these same companies do.

Interesting statistics. I’ll probably do a Google review on XYZ after I get my fence fixed by someone else. I wouldn’t want anyone else to choose them. Leaders look at their companies, their people and their promises through the eyes of a consumer – not from their PR.

Note:  The fence company called me Friday at 4:50 p.m. No sale.

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