Always Ask a “Courtesy Question”

always use a courtesy questionYou wouldn’t walk into your customer’s inner sanctum, their home, without knocking and waiting for permission. (At least I hope not!)

Yet my guess is every day you (and your employees) are just “barging in” on people without “knocking”! Think about it…

How many times have you called someone, said hello, started rattling off questions and the customer has to interrupt, “Uhhh, excuse me but can I call you back? I’m on another call.” Or maybe they break in with, “I can’t talk right now. You see, my  husband came home from work early and we are in  a ‘romantic encounter’ at the moment!”

What’s happening here? You just walked into your client’s private, mental/emotional space without permission and made yourself at home! This is a HUGE a negative Moment of Truth! So…

Automatically include a “Courtesy Question” on every outgoing phone call to a customer.

A simple Courtesy Question is best. After introducing yourself just ask this seven word question: “Am I calling at a good time?”

98% of the time your customer will reply, “Sure. Go ahead…” Wonderful! You’ve just been invited inside!

Once in a while they will say, “I’m in the middle of something but how can I help you?” Fine- you’ve just been told to stay on the front porch and “state your business”! Great! Isn’t it better to learn this up front instead of having your knuckles rapped later?

And very, very occasionally someone will reply, “You know- this just isn’t a good time.” Then you can answer, “I understand. May I give you a call tomorrow morning?” So much better than just “barging in”!

Commercial HINT: Before calling a busy Property Manager why not text them a Courtesy Question, “Can I give you a call now re:…?” This getting “Permission to Proceed” creates a big positive Moment of Truth!

Restoration HINT: Adjusters want to confidently turn the loss over to you and … FORGET IT! Yet they also want to be kept “in the loop”. So why not set up a password-protected “in the cloud” Shared Folder for each loss that lets you share photos, monitoring sheets and other job notes? Your adjuster will receive an email (or text) every time you update the Folder which lets them access your loss information on their schedule.



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