One of the worst parts of running a business is dealing with complaints. Lee talks about how to handle them in this video.

Good afternoon guys! I hope everybody is wonderful today. We’re having a great day in North Carolina. We’re actually renting out U-Haul from our Morrisville office. Our main headquarters is moving to Apex. Which all of this is within Raleigh, little suburbs or whatever. Morrisville was more of the industrial districts. We’ve got great road frontage on our Morrisville office, our shop. We’re going to be doing U-Haul there. We’re going to have our truck dispatch at that office. He’s going to be keeping up with all the jobs throughout the day. All the crews, all three locations. That will be done out of Morrisville office. He’s got our selling stuff, we we’re now selling items. He got the stores running and then renting U-Haul. So, that one guy right there is going to be busy with that stuff.

We’ve got the U-Haul stuff kind of set up today. We’ll keep everybody and update everybody on how that goes. We’re a little intrigued to see how it’s going to work out. How much money can you really make a doing U-Haul? What kind of issues do you have? Problems, that sort of deal. We’ll definitely keep everybody updated on that.

What I want to talk to everybody today about is customer complaints. They’re going to happen, they’re going to when you’re on the truck, especially once you get off the truck some more complaints are going to rise and I mean all kinds of stuff. Damage to property, that’s a legitimate complaint. Showing up late, not making a courtesy call and showing up early without having first verified if that was okay with the customer. All kinds of crazy stuff will come up in the form of a complaint.

I’ll try to compile a list together to let everybody know about it, but every so often we get them. It could be driving, you know driving complaints. How do you handle that? If somebody calls in and says, you got a driver that’s driving kind of erratically so how do you handle that? One of the first things that I want to talk to everybody about and the considerations you need to have is the image, Internet and how people can really negatively affect your business. If you have a negative, if you have a complaint. One of your people damaged the customer’s property. That’s something that needs to be fixed and very little questions asked. For some reason, you’re 100% positive that you didn’t cause the damage then look into it further, but the problem is whether your company calls the damage or not. If they put negative reviews on Facebook, Google wherever it could cost your business tremendously. Most of the time you want to take the complaint and let the customer know, “Hey, let me look into this. Get the exact details. What’s going on? Do you have pictures you can send me? Let’s figure out what’s going on. Let me talk to my guys. We will call you right back and we’ll work everything out to make it right for you.” So, that’s the initial thing that needs to happen and that needs to happen immediately. If a customer sends you an email, leaves you a message with the person answering your phones or you pick up the phone and talk to them. Your initial reaction needs to be “We’re going to fix this. We’re going to make it right. We’re going to figure out what happened and address it” Because what will happen is if you ignore it or even if you don’t ignore it. If you try and gather information first before you respond, then that customer could be brewing. That issue, it could just be building inside of them and all of a sudden, they go on Twitter and Facebook. Rampage, just blasting your business. Post negative reviews everywhere they can. Once those reviews go up, it’s very hard to get them off. One, you have to fix the customer’s problem. Two, actually get the customer to follow through to remove the reviews. Even if the customer says they will, sometimes they just don’t take the time to do it.

Always contact the customer, let them know “Give me just a little bit of time to figure out exactly what going on” and they will make the situation right. The next thing you do is you contact your employees and determine what happened. Why you didn’t know about it and all that sort of deal. The employees will sometimes come up with excuses, but if we determined that what you did damage the property, you need to fix it. Now, if the customer is the one that actually damaged it, you might want to be brought up, but still you’ve got to be careful. Here’s another consideration you have is how many positive reviews do you have and how many negative reviews do you have? If a customer is trying to screw us and we have 200 to 250 reviews on Google, we can probably survive a negative review. Maybe if you’re 100% correct that it was not your fault. The complaint was not your fault, maybe you don’t give in and don’t give them anything just because they tried to screw you, but still it is likely not worth the negative review.

Like just the other day we had a customer that had us pick some stuff up and the customer wasn’t there. The customer wanted us to remove a grill. Well, he had these four clamps that he had set on the grill. He didn’t want the clamps gone, but our guys, they’re like “He wants the grill gone. They think anything he set on the grill, he wants it to be done as well. So, they took the grill, they took the clamps and all. All that got donated and the customer calls us up, just pissed off. We’re kind of like “You put the clamps on the grill, you wanted the grill taken.” Our guys just kind of figured that one of that stuff is gone. Anyway, what happened is we had a little bit of a back and forth with just kind of what I said. Christian said, “We’ll replace the clamps. We’ll get on Amazon and have them shipped to you.” That right there avoided a bad review. In that situation, that’s all we did. The is happy receiving the clamps. That’s great. If we damage somebody’s property, you want to go above and beyond. You want to not only fix their damage, but you will either send them a gift card to a restaurant or discount the service they received or give them a voucher when they get like $100 credit towards their next pickup or something. You want to go above and beyond because you can actually take advantage of a negative situation like that and turn it into a positive. It’s amazing. Some of our best customers, some of the people that have referred our business the most have been the people that have had a complaint with our service. We had a track of a mud into the house. We damage the property. Those are the most common ones. Then what we do is we not only fix the problem, but we reduced the amount that their service cost or we send them a restaurant gift card or we credit service for the future. Something like that, or a combination of all of those. We always go above and beyond to make a disappointed customer happy because a lot of times those customers leave great reviews. They refer business to you and they really are going to remember your name. They’re going to remember you for good reason, because you fixed that problem. They’re going to use you again whenever they need your service. You don’t want them remembering you because you did a bad job. You damage property, whatever. You didn’t go and you didn’t repair it. It can be tough. It costs money. We’ve had to repair a damaged hardwood floor before, scratched the hardwood floor. Completely redoing this lady’s floor because of a little scratch or two that was in it. You couldn’t just fix a little scratch, you have to redo the entire floor to make it look right. That was thousands of dollars. That was an insurance claim.

Always going above and beyond on customer complaints. Just shelve your pride. The other thing is let them talk. It’s going to be very hard to hold back from saying something. These customers get real worked up. Let them talk. Let them vent then just apologize and do what you can to make it right. One situation we had to come up, can be kind of hard for people to fathom, but one of the things that can piss customers off the most is showing up early on announced. We have a policy on Junk Doctors. We do not show up more than about 5 minutes early unless we made contact with the customer. Unless we have made it clear that is the customer’s option for us to come early. If they’d like us to come early, we can be there at a certain period of time. As long as the customer has given a permission “Yeah, that works great. ” We’ll head that way.

If that hasn’t happened. We’ve had one of the most pissed off customer has ever been with our company was we showed up like 45 minutes early to a job without having a contact with the customer. That is a direct violation of every process we have. That was employees doing the wrong thing despite being training. They don’t see the issue with it. They think what’s the worst we show up if the customer is there. It’s great. This particular customer was butt naked in a pool in the back. We show up early and knock on the door. She doesn’t come to the door obviously because she’s naked. Our guys wind up leaving, leaving a business card or whatever. Well, we get a phone call. We want them not doing the job. Even though I told her we would come back and do the job for free. She absolutely wanted nothing to do with us. Was an overreaction on her part? Yes, of course. Did we make a serious mistake? Yes, we did. Those employees got a big time chewing out for me. That is directly against everything you’ve been talked. You have to make contact with the customer before they come and show up early. This is why. It blew their mind that anybody acted like that. That’s what you have to make sure that your employees understand that there are some completely irrational people out there. At the same time, we tell them we’re going to call them when we’re on the way. We’re going to arrive between a certain time, so that means we’re not going to be late. We’re not going to be early. If we show up early, we can really catch customers in a bad situation. That’s one situation you really want to try and avoid.

I’m going to do a Junk Removal Made Simple episode on common situations that customers can complain about. That will be a very valuable episode. We’ll get that out, but right now I want to drive home and make clear to everybody is go above and beyond to fix a mistake. Don’t argue with the customer. Make communication very quick and prompt. Listen to them. Don’t interrupt them. That’s really going to pay dividends on your business. Just a couple reviews can sync the number of new customers you get.

Just a couple of reviews can ruin your reputation. They said that every one, negative experience of customer, they will tell 10 their friends. The problem is now with social media, it can be thousands of their friends or people they know. Social media and Google, it can be thousands of people they know or don’t know. The damage, you got to go to immediate damage control as soon as you have one problem. Address it quick and make it right. Fix it, if you have to follow insurance, follow insurance claim. Do whatever you have to do to address the customer complaint and give in a lose money on that job. If you have to losing money on that job, this is going to be a lot less than you could lose in terms of negative reputation. Your reputation is your business in junk removal. You have to have a good reputation. If you don’t, the number of new customers and repeat business you’re going to get is going to be not enough. I hope everybody found this valuable. We’ll talk everybody real soon. Thanks guys.