Go the extra mile, turn a bad review into a raving fan
Lance, the bid coordinator for a construction group in Salem, OR, and graduate of Turbo's Leadership Development Lab (LDL) sent us this story:
Just wanted to share with you an incident I was involved with yesterday, and the outcome. A resident on one of our projects in North Portland posted a comment to Facebook and I commented on it. Here is the exchange:
RESIDENT: 'Emery & Sons Construction is one of my least favorite companies. They are tearing up my street and making a huge mess.'
"At this point, I contacted Jennifer (Jennifer is the Safety Director and a wonderful practitioner of positive public relations) and she just happened to be heading out to that project. She said she would be happy to stop and talk with the resident. Jennifer showed up with a bouquet of flowers and her business card, but the lady who made the comment was not home, so Jennifer left them with her husband.
"I responded to the resident's comment:
LANCE: 'Sometimes when you are replacing deep sewer in unstable ground conditions on narrow streets things get messy. You are lucky to have Emery doing the work.'
RESIDENT: 'Ok, I will be happy. I came home to flowers. I was only discouraged, but never mean to the workers. Tell them all I said thank you, and to be safe.'
"Then I got home and noticed the Facebook comment was still there, and wanted to see if I could get her to edit it to say something that appeared more positive for Emery.
LANCE: 'Since Emery & Sons hand-delivered flowers to your door for any inconvenience you may have suffered, maybe your comment should read 'My new favorite company is Emery & Sons.' Seriously, how many businesses do that? Emery & Sons will be professional, and will do the best job they can to have the least amount of impact on your neighborhood as possible.'
RESIDENT: 'I fixed it. I should buy them doughnuts tomorrow. How many workers are there?'
LANCE: 'That is great that you fixed that, and the doughnuts are an awesome gesture, but not necessary. Thank you and have a good night.'
RESIDENT: 'They are hard workers, they don't sit around.'
"Here is her edited Facebook comment:
RESIDENT: 'Emery & Sons is a favorite company of mine, even though they were to work a bit early and messed up the streets. I am glad it's them who are digging up our streets instead of the City (the City would take 3 weeks, not 3 days). I appreciate the gesture of beautiful flowers that were hand-delivered. . . that's old-fashioned customer service.'
"Just thought you would enjoy that exchange. Have a great day.
If you are in the public eye, it is only a matter of time until you are on the receiving end of a complaint. When you can turn complainers to fans, you are a winner.
Fall Leadership Development Labs are forming now in Eugene, Wilsonville, Salem and Vancouver.