I spend a lot of time in my car, and I spend a lot of time on my phone. It comes with the territory. Frankly, on busy days, I look forward to the short, quiet respite I get when I get to an inspection site early…although in life, there are few guarantees. On this particular day, “quiet” and “respite” were not among them. I swiped right to answer.
“Thank you for answering!” Were the first words out of his mouth. The caller had been trying to find an inspector but had been getting either answering services, voice mails, and directed to automated chat services. He lamented, “No one answers their phone anymore”. Granted, my availability at this particular moment in time was due to circumstance rather than my own ingenuity, but serendipity is as serendipity does.
The caller didn’t want to do business with a computer or an answering service. He wanted help from a real human. I said, “You and me both.” I would prefer to talk to someone rather than filling out a form or sending an email or whatever any day of the week. I’ve talked about this before, but most people really don’t know a whole lot about the ins and outs of buying homes, and this is especially true when it comes to the home inspection. They go through this maybe 2 or 3 times in their lives. Moving or buying a home is a major life event for most people, so it makes perfect sense to me that people would actually want to talk to a human.
So why is it so hard to actually get ahold of someone? There are probably a lot of reasons, but honestly, I don’t worry too much about what other companies are doing. I just make it a point to have everything come to my phone. Call, text, Facebook Messenger (which they say is the next big thing), and email all come to my phone. If I’m tied up and I know it will be a bit before I can get back to someone, I will shoot a quick email or text letting them know I’ve gotten their message and I’ll return it as soon as I can. That means a lot to people.
I run my business with the general thought that I will treat my clients the way I would want to be treated. I think it’s true that doing good is good business, and my clients seem to agree.
I spoke with the caller for a few minutes more. We scheduled his inspection right there over the phone. I let him know that if he had any questions he could call anytime. He was really appreciative. I call that a feel good story.
And speaking of feel good stories, I think it’s about time to start this next inspection.