I have been known to overreact at times. I realize it is a bad quality, and I continue to work on it. But if you ask my kids or wife, they will tell you I have not made much progress.

I have some sobering news for HVAC contractors — I am certainly not in the minority in our society. You probably see it every day with your customers. One item goes wrong, and they make a mountain out of a molehill.

Here is a quick example on how people like me can affect your business. There is a diner down the road from our office that I eat at about once a week. Nothing fancy, but it’s quick, easy, and decent. I was recently having lunch there with a friend, and it was my turn to pay. I walked the bill and my credit card up to what appeared to be the restaurant manager. After running my card, he screamed at me, “How much tip?” I must have had a confused look on my face, because he screamed it again. I asked for the receipt back so I could see how much it was and write in a tip. His response was to scream “How much tip?” at me again.

At that point, I just needed to move on, so I verbally gave him the tip while within earshot of the waitress and a slew of customers. It was an annoying situation but really fairly small in the grand scheme of things. Any normal person would laugh it off and move on. However, as has already been established, I am not exactly what you consider normal.

My overreaction was to complain to my friend about what happened and let him know we will be eating somewhere else when we go out to lunch next time. I did not take to review sites (that seems absurd), but a lot of people certainly would.

What does that story mean? Well, there are a few takeaways for HVAC contractors.

The first is that every part of customer service matters. In this instance, the food was good and the waitress was attentive. However, my one interaction with one employee changed all of that. The same process takes place with an HVAC installation. The price can be right, the tech shows up on time, the product is installed correctly — but if the tech drags mud all over the house, that is the item the homeowner will remember.

The second takeaway is that people will share their bad experience much more than they share a good experience. I have shared that story multiple times since it first occurred. Of course, I am not still angry about it and the story becomes rather humorous, but no time when I tell it does the listener have a positive thought about this restaurant.

Finally, the most important takeaway is in one of the small details of the story. It was the restaurant manager that checked me out. I have been to this restaurant at least 50 times with no problems. This was also the first time the manager was in charge of the transaction.

Relate this to your business. Do you know each and every process that your company follows? If you do, congratulations. However, I do believe you are in the minority. My guess is that you hired quality people to get the job done and that these people do not need to be micromanaged. That is certainly a fine way to conduct business.

Problems arise when you insert yourself into the situation and perform the task without knowing the protocol. I get why this restaurant manager jumped behind the register. Others were probably busy, and he wanted to help out the team.

I am sure that you would do the same. Just be sure not to alienate a customer in the process.

See more articles from this issue here!