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The Number 1 Rule When Dealing With Customers On A Budget

I recently wrote about why your service technicians focusing on the cheap, quick fix must get out of that mindset and instead start communicating why longer-term solutions are the best win-wins for both customer and company.
But what happens when you encounter a customer who steadfastly refuses anything except the cheapest solution regardless of how temporary it may be?
If there’s an issue with an older water system and the customer’s called your company out saying “I just want a new washer in it, the last company did that and that’s what I want,” how does your technician respond?

I’m a big believer in companies educating customers, so it’s going to come down to how your technician communicates with these people and whether they fully follow their sales process.
In this situation yes you could just replace the washer and carry on, however it’s important to explain why this is a risky move and how they can benefit from some different solution options.
If the washer’s gone perhaps explain how it’s because their system is quite dated and gone past warranty, meaning these sort of issues could become more common.

Through investigating the issue you could explain how system components are also at risk of failing and getting replacements could be problematic due to these parts no longer in production.
Also your technician can explain how there’s a strong chance merely replacing the washer won’t work given the system’s condition, whereas a new system is backed by a long-term guarantee and the customer won’t need to worry about this sort of thing for a very long time.

The purpose of all this communication is making it very clear to the customer what the risks are and getting them to open their minds towards alternative options instead of being focused only on one.
If they’re still saying “I don’t care thanks, let’s just do the washer” then I would recommend performing a system test with the customer to show even with the washer replacement there is still potentially a system leak, meaning the problem hasn’t been resolved.
I do suggest your technician avoid saying something like “it is company policy to avoid replacing just a washer in this situation” because all this results in is the customer finding another company to install a new washer-and potentially a new system- instead.

Customers don’t care about company policy, they’re just after a solution to best suit them.
So when faced with this customer type, I’d still suggest following your process and continue educating and offering options to change the customer’s thinking towards a more permanent solution with a long warranty.
You can still proceed with the short-term fix if they so desire but at least this way you’ve done your job, offered many options and made very clear to the customer the risks they’re taking.

Even in difficult situations you must follow your processes, offer options and continue educating the customer on which choices offer the best solutions and why.

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