How a “simple act of human kindness” can pay off big time with a fire and water damage restoration customer!

Strategies for Success attendees quickly learn that over 80% of how the customer decides if you are doing a “good job” or a “bad job” is based on the relationship they have with the people actually doing the work.  Nowhere are these Emotional Dynamics more important than with traumatized people suffering from a fire and water damage in their home.  This week’s quickTIP recognizes the vital need to start racking up those all-important positive Moments of Truth by displaying an attitude of personal care and concern.

When doing the initial walk-thru with the home owner on a fire or water loss that requires a pack-out, ask the customer what possessions have the most sentimental value to them.  Usually they will have some pictures or some family heirlooms like a lamp or quilt.  The cleaning manager should offer to take the item with them for fast processing and a quick “good as new” return to the home owner.  (To make the occasion even more special gift wrap the item!)

Many times the immediate and complete restoration of just a few important things in the customer’s life puts their mind at ease and makes them a Cheerleader right from the start.  This “simple act of human kindness”  will help you survive the inevitable negative Moments of Truth that are sure to follow later in the loss!


P.S.  I well remember one large fire loss over 30 years ago.  As I inspected the job with the homeowner family, the wife (who was a gourmet cook) kept disappearing.  Her husband and I would always find her in the kitchen gazing mournfully at the charred file box that kept her prized recipe collection from the last 40 years.  Well- duh!  I finally realized where her focus was!  With her permission we processed all the recipe cards in a long overnight session and returned them the next morning- fresh, clean, deodorized and even in the same order- all packaged in a beautiful gift wrapped rosewood recipe file.  She wept.  Some moments are priceless!

NOTE:  Plus we made a fortune on the restoration loss- at least partly due to these Cheerleader customers who were putty in our hands!   The home owners also praised us tirelessly to the insurance adjuster who from that point on made sure we got all his property losses!  I calculated once that this simple little rosewood recipe box (and a late night of work) brought my company over half a million dollars in referred fire and water damage losses over the next ten years!

1 thought on “How a “simple act of human kindness” can pay off big time with a fire and water damage restoration customer!”

  1. I had a very similar situation.

    I cold called an arson/attempted murder fire a year back. The woman was still living in her home, afraid that the man who had set the fire would come back to try and finish off her house (which was not structurally damaged, just very very smoky). She had no good food because most things had been contaminated. After I left, I stopped and picked up some food for her and took it back. She cried, and has been the biggest cheerleader I could have ever hoped for from that day on, and we made tons of money off the job!

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