As a contractor, you’re constantly in communication with your customers. When a customer becomes unhappy over something you can directly control, it’s easy to offer them something of value or appease their frustrations. When you receive negative feedback from customers who didn’t call Texas811 before they began their digging project, however, it becomes a lot harder to handle the situation. Understandably, it can be unnerving to speak with an angry customer, but here are some tips to handle the situation.
The best way to soothe an angry customer is to remain calm and never raise your voice. Most unhappy customers really just want to be heard and understood. Even if you can’t actually do anything to change their situation, they will appreciate that you remained calm and listened to their frustrations.
Pay attention to exactly what your unhappy customer is saying. Don’t just think of how you will respond and completely miss their point of view. To actively listen, try repeating certain phrases back to your customer and offer a solution to their problem.
Don’t Blame Texas811
Unhappy customers are often frustrated due to the fact they didn’t know that the law requires landowners to call Texas811 before they begin their digging projects. They may become angry that they will have to wait longer to start construction than they expected. Whatever you do, though, don’t blame it on Texas811. Texas811 will become the enemy in your customer’s eyes, and they may hesitate to undertake another digging project because of the initial inconvenience. If they decide they don’t want to dig anymore, that means you will lose business.
Explain the Safety of the Law
The law that requires customers to call Texas811 has a lot to do with keeping citizens safe. Explain to your customer that utility lines may run under their property, and that the land needs to be thoroughly checked out before any digging occurs. This is not only to make for a more successful project, but also to protect the safety of your workers, the customer and their family and neighbors. If you take the time to really explain that to your customers, and they will understand the importance of calling Texas811.
Make the Call Yourself
If your customer finds calling Texas811 inconvenient, as the contractor, you are able to call on their behalf. If you offer this service as a part of your overall statement of work for every customer, you’ll be providing great customer service and will gain the confidence of the customer.
When your customer is unhappy and you feel like it’s out of your control, you do have the power to turn the situation around. Just listen carefully to their frustrations and explain all the safety requirements and laws that go into any job. Your customers will appreciate your upfront honesty.