Making A Service Call Personal

OK, so your company is going to have to make a service call to a customer’s house. How do you make the experience personal?

Read up on the customer.
Read up on the customer a little bit before going to their house. Check out their file and see how long they have been a customer, where they live, and any other notes. Maybe even do a quick Google search and see if they have been in the newspaper lately, etc

This may be slightly debated, but you can bribe some people to like at least tolerate the service call experience. Bribe them. Not cash, but thoughtful little gifts. Here are some good ways to bribe without it being too tacky:

  • When the customer is making the service call appointment, ask if they have any pets. If they have a dog, bring the dog a little bag of treats. If they have a cat, bring a little toy mouse. Make sure there is enough quantity so at least all of the pets can get something.
  • If they don’t have any pets or if the item needing fixing/maintenance is expensive, ask if they have any small children. Bring a little toy for the children or a little coloring book with some crayons. Keep things simple. If the item is expensive, bring both pet and children gifts.
  • If they have older kids, consider getting them a small gift card ($5 or so) to a local music store or the local mall (you may be able to get the gift cards for free since you are send the store customers – just ask them).

Get and use names.
Just don’t give out random gifts – put the kid or pet’s name on the items. To Bob from your friends at The Air Conditioning Store. This makes the experience quite personal and the customer will feel less like just another service calls. When the customer answers the door, address them by name. Try and address the customer by name throughout the entire service call.

If you are going to an office.
If you are going to office you can do one or all of these things. Consider getting a little flower arrangement for the break room, a pen for your client, or something thoughtful and creative along those lines.

Also consider giving out things that your business offers that may help customers. It should be a tangible item that the customer gets for free (i. e. not discounted).
It’s not that complicated to make a service call personal. It takes a little bit of effort, a little bit of money, and that’s it.

Update: At 11:30 AM, I called the company that was supposed to be coming to my house to fix my television. The service call was setup incorrectly and they couldn’t come. No call or anything. They gave me a credit on my month’s bill (it was about 20% of the month’s bill) and I have re-scheduled the appointment for a couple of weeks from now.