P1 Invests in Customer Feedback to Increase Satisfaction an Retention
“A garden doesn’t grow without constant tending.”
General Manager of Service Todd Andrews says P1 applies this same philosophy to customer relations.
“You can sell and sell, but if you don’t retain anything, then you’re not growing,” Todd said. “We need to retain our customers or else we’re putting in effort without growing the business.”
This is why P1 reinstated the customer CARE - Customer Assurance Review & Evaluation - program in 2019. The program has existed before at P1, but today, it stands on a strong foundation and grows steadily in its success.
The strength of that foundation lies primarily with the individuals who were hired or selected to focus on CARE initiatives.
CARE Coordinator Kelly Masters came to P1 in 2019 with the sole focus of building CARE for Kansas City, Lawrence/Topeka, and Wichita Service.
In addition to her role as Service Coordinator, Erin Pearl has taken on CARE responsibilities for St. Joseph.
Customers have commented on the rarity of this kind of attention.
“One customer recently told me how thankful they were that P1 has invested in CARE,” Kelly said. “He does not have any other contractors that do such a thing, and told us it’s one of the things that sets P1 apart.”
Perhaps it’s that very element of the unexpected, but Kelly says one of the greatest challenges is getting a customer to make an appointment in the first place.
“Sometimes in the past, if a customer had met with me before, they think they don’t need to again,” Kelly said. “So we revisit our questions frequently to make sure we aren’t asking the same people the same thing year after year.”
Kelly and Todd say it’s important to keep the meetings conversational, and make sure it’s a two-way street of communication and benefit, not just a way for P1 to get answers that only serve us.
“We are always looking for ways to improve the program,” Kelly said. “For example, making sure visits happen early enough in the year to address - and hopefully correct - issues before contract renewal.”
“The program and our methods evolve with each visit,” Kelly said.
Because of these constant improvements, Kelly said she is having less trouble getting appointments these days.
“When people feel they are being heard, they welcome a visit, and, of course, P1 also benefits from what we learn.”
Erin says the CARE efforts are very effective in the closer-knit community of St. Joseph.
“St. Joseph is a smaller community, and our customers really like having a face-to-face talk with someone about how things are going,” Erin said.
“The time we take to sit down and receive feedback from our customers is appreciated. It also gives us an opportunity to let the customers know about all of our other services they may not be aware of,” she said.
“I have even gotten new job opportunities for P1 during CARE calls because the customer did not realize there were other things we could help them with.”
Kelly takes the information she gathers and puts it to use in several ways: positive comments are shared, recognizing the appropriate P1associates for their good work; if there’s an issue needing correction, she brings it to the appropriate person (from service manager to executive, depending on the situation); a report that is delivered every Friday in the Operations meeting; and a spreadsheet tracking results to use for comparison and to track solution implementation.
“CARE has allowed us to retain business – in the ballpark of $1M in maintenance agreements over the past couple years – that we might have otherwise lost,” Todd said.
“CARE gives customers a place to express their concerns,” Erin said.
“They can talk about things that are and are not working for them and we can figure out how to better suit their needs.”
Erin says there have even been a few CARE calls that have led to adding on to the customer’s contract to better meet their needs.
“Without having that sit down conversation, that customer may not have said anything, and might go on just being less satisfied. It is a great opportunity for the customer to freely express their feelings on how things are going so we can ensure their satisfaction.”
CONGRATS TO THE P1 CARE TEAM ON THEIR GOOD WORK IN CREATING A TWO-WAY STREET OF SUCCESS!