Making customer satisfaction your job can win jobs

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11/04/2010

We’re all familiar with the “It’s not my job” experience: You want some service from a company, but its employees can’t help you because they say it’s not their area of responsibility. If you’re lucky, they may give you another phone number to call, but then chances are the person you reach will tell you to call someone else.

So that’s why I was intrigued when Scott Hosford, branch manager of the Fairchild Communications Systems office in Fort Wayne, Ind. told me the other day that Fairchild instructs its technicians to do whatever it takes to get the job done—even it it’s not their job.

Hosford said that technicians at Fairchild--a full-line integrator headquartered in Indianapolis that offers everything from fire and security systems to sound systems in the commercial, institutional and industrial verticals—are told to help customers solve problems even if the problem is not something they were specifically sent to fix.

For example, he said, if the tech is out for a programming job but discovers there's something wrong with the wiring, the tech is instructed not to leave and say he'll come back after the customer has called an electrician and the wiring is fixed.

Instead, Hosford said, the techs stay and work with the customer to help solve the problem. He said the tech will say: “We got a problem, (but) I’m going to help you find it. Can you get a guy in with me and go over it?”

Hosford said that rather than making it all the customer’s problem, Fairchild’s approach is: “Just do what you can to get the project done. You’re already out there, why have you schedule another trip and go back--it’s an inconvenience for everybody. Let’s just get the job done and move on to the next one.”

Hosford said the company's good service record has sometimes won it jobs even when it wasn’t the lowest bidder. All because it instructs its employees NOT to say: “It’s not my job.”