Asking For a Price Over The Phone Is Not Fair To You As a Home Owner
As an owner of a Cleary Plumbing, Inc. I deal with people price shopping every day. People call and try to describe their plumbing issue and then ask for a ball park price or estimate over the phone. For the person giving the price over the phone, this becomes a very difficult situation every time. In my opinion, a price over the phone is not fair to the homeowner. First off, you are calling because you have a plumbing issue that you can not solve, so describing the problem over the phone may be difficult. Secondly, there are few plumbing problems that are exactly the same from one home to another. Lastly, you as the consumer would not be getting the service and attention you deserved if the issue were not observed first hand by a professional.
I am one of those people who always gave prices over the phone. I may still give a range occasionally, but I learned that I was not being fair to my customers by giving them a price I could not fully stand behind without seeing the issue at hand. I later decided that I would rather lose a sale over the phone than let my reputation as a Good Service Provider be tarnished. I understand people need to budget and see if they can afford the service they need, so a range can be a compromise. The biggest problem with getting a price over the phone is when the problem described does not match what exactly is going on. What ends up happening is the work ends up being totally different or the work becomes more extensive than the price that was given over the phone. This puts both the owner and the service provider in a bad spot. The owners wants the service provider to honor the verbal price over the phone and the service provider claims there is no way they can do the service for that price. Now, you as the homeowner are not getting the exceptional service you expect and deserve.
I am not naive and I know price is one of the most of important factors in deciding on what we choose, but how do we choose a Plumbing Company without a price over the phone? Making a list of other things that are important to you is essential. There are many things you can learn over the phone that can help you choose. Some of them are: Trip Charges or Service Fees, Warranties, Guarantees, Maintenance Plans, Method of Charging the Customer, Licenses, Accreditation, Financing Options, Availability, Technicians Level of Expertise, and a Level of Comfort with whom you are talking to. In asking the right questions you can ultimately compare apples to apples when choosing your next Plumbing Company. By making a list that is not only based on price, you are able to see the true valve of the service. Not until you see perceived value will you ever agree on a price being charged. Understand what matters most to you in a service company and then choose the one that best fits yours needs.
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