Three Things A Plumber Can Give Their Customers

Many years ago an old retired plumbing contractor advised me that as a plumbing contractor there are only three things you can give your customers. Furthermore, he said, among those three things, you can only give them two.

The three things he was referring to were Price, Quality of Work and Service. If you give them Price and Quality, he continued, you’ll be so busy that you won’t always be able to provide immediate response to emergency situations. If you try and give Service and Quality, you’ll have to charge enough to cover the expense of having qualified technicians on stand-by to meet whatever demand occurs. Price and service, for obvious reasons, are the least appealing of the possible combinations and one not generally chosen by most plumbing contractors, but ironically looked for by most customers. They reason that if you get someone out right away and they charge a lower price, all things being equal, they’ve received a bargain. Almost always, that proves to be a fallacy. All things, in this case are not equal.

Staffing a plumbing company with low-paid, inadequately trained and qualified workmen who cut corners and rush to the next job, generally creates more problems than it solves. These companies are always on the phone with unsatisfied customers demanding they return to complete their work and/or repair their leaks. The aforementioned Service and Quality of Work companies most generally charge exorbitant prices (to cover their overhead costs), which naturally reduces their clientele and causes them to rely on heavy advertising and paying their workmen on commission, which raises their prices even higher. My choice has always been to focus on quality first, price second and provide as good service as possible using that criterion. There are times when customers have to wait a day or two or go someplace else.

Conversely, I have exceptionally high repeat business and referral levels and seldom have negative issues with customers. For me, it’s a positive trade-off; I’d rather have satisfied customers who sometimes have to wait for my company’s service, than a roster of customers who will never call me again and spread the word among their associates that I consistently overcharge. What is ironic and commonplace these days are companies that only offer one of the potential aspects. Usually, this is Service. They outfit their trucks and personnel to provide an impressive outer display of success and efficiency and then use glorified handymen, who are expert salesmen and who have little concept of plumbing design and function. They sometimes advertise that they guarantee to be at your door within a certain time frame, but when they get there you are confronted with a high-pressure salesman, working on commission, who exaggerates (and sometimes invents) problems for which he has expensive solutions. These are the companies that have sullied the reputation of our trade and caused companies like mine to prosper greatly. I have found when following one of these companies that I usually have a customer for life, who trusts my company and refers everyone he knows to call me and if necessary wait until we can provide service.

If you have any questions about plumbing repair or you’d like to request a plumber, call Town & Country Plumbing Repair at (760) 744-8672. We offer free estimates and a quality guarantee with all our work.