Our passion for what we do – senior care and home care, in general – is what got us started in this business and why we are still running the business side of Support For Home (the blog is a reflection of that passion that we do just for fun 🙂 ).
For us, customer service is the result of that passion. We care, so we try to get it right. But every once in a while, it does not hurt to get a reminder, usually through another company’s lack of customer service, that it is pretty darned important.
The latest reminder came courtesy of our heating and air vendor at our home. They spend a lot of money on advertising, so we will help them out with some free publicity, today. The company is Beutler Heating & Air, in Sacramento, California.
It all started when our air conditioning stopped working. It had been installed when our house was built a few years ago by Beutler, so we thought, “Hey, let’s just call them.” So, we did. And they actually fixed it fairly quickly, which was great, but pointed out some issues that led us to decide, even though the house was only four or five years old, to replace the furnace and air conditioner, upgrading to much more efficient products. We still think that was the right decision. So far, so good.
So, the day of installation arrives. A couple of guys show up early in the morning. That was fine, but that crew was way too small to get the job done in one day, which is what had been promised. So, several phone calls later, additional crew members straggle in to join the fray, but it should not have been necessary. Beutler’s score has now dropped from 10 out of 10 to 8.75. Not a crisis.
Now, the access point to the attic, through which they need to move the new furnace, is too small for the new unit. No problem. We were told it would be, but that the installation crew would cut a larger opening, then it would all be repaired, as good as new – and, it was supposed to be repaired the same day.
If you have guessed that the cosmetic repair was not completed on that day, good job. If you guessed that no one has been to the house from Beutler since the day of installation, more than a month ago, to do the repair, you just earned the 1.25 points taken from Beutler, above and the 2 points subtracted from their score for letting a month go by. So, you are now at 3.25 points. Beutler is down to 6.75 out of a possible 10. It is starting to look not so good.
Now, to be fair, we really are pleased with the quiet and powerful cooling from the new air conditioner, so I’m going to give them 1 point back. Don’t worry, you get to keep your 3.25 points. Beutler is up to 7.75, which is above the red line.
Did I mention that the access point to the attic is actually in my wife’s walk-in closet? That is really a significant point, as it turns out. You see, she actually uses that closet for her clothes. So, what did her closet and her clothes look like, after Beutler had completed the installation and Elvis had left the building?
I want to be clear, here. That white powder is not any form of illegal drugs. It is the result of making a bigger hole in our ceiling, without protecting what was below.
Now, I’m a reasonable guy (in other words, they were my wife’s clothes, in her walk-in closet), so I’m only subtracting 3.5 points for that mess, and I know you got the question right, above, so you are now up to 6.75 points, and Beutler is down to 4.25. The red line has been crossed.
Now, Beutler calls and leaves several messages for Robert on our home phone voice mail, wanting to set up a Quality Control meeting with us, to review how things went and all that. Pretty good, except there is no one in the home named Robert. The last four letters of Robert and of my name are the same, so it’s close, but no cigar. Additionally, they have been told we WORK so, call me on my cell phone!
Now, again, I’m a reasonable guy. I didn’t even subtract points for being called Robert or using the wrong phone number.
Finally, after exchanging four or five messages, we get a meeting set up with their QC guy. We’re excited. We have pictures and stories and we just know Beutler will want to make their business and our lives better. So, we block out four hours to be home, away from the business, away from our customers.
Well, it turns out, their QC guy gets sick a lot, and, it turns out, they only have one employee who appears to be interested in or qualified to discuss QC issues. So, our meeting is cancelled / rescheduled – for today. I know, you are waaaaay ahead of me. Yes, we get a call this morning that it is cancelled again. Minus 3.25 points for Beutler, and they all go to you.
Oh, by the way, we are told that their idea of Quality Control is really to make sure the system turns on an off, basically. Huh!?
That gets Beutler to 1 point (0, if you take away a point for their limited notion of QC) and you are up to 10! So, the next time we need a major job like this done at home, you guessed it, we’re calling you!
Best wishes for great customer service in your life, Bert