Why Good Communication between Clients and the Restoration Company Is Essential
Blog Summary: SERVPRO of Palo Alto highlights the value of communication as a key to customer satisfaction and a cornerstone of the property damage restoration process.
SERVPRO of Palo Alto makes every effort to facilitate communication with every customer throughout each step of the cleanup and damage restoration project. The communication process begins with the homeowner, business owner, or property manager placing a call to the property damage cleanup and restoration company.
Frantic calls in the middle of the night to half a dozen service providers can take quite a while, especially in the chaos and confusion of a fire or a natural disaster. The sooner a company is selected, the sooner a crew can respond, arrive on the scene, evaluate the damage, and begin the cleanup and restoration.
The qualification process can take more than a minute or two. Questions to ask include:
- Is the company available 24/7?
- Will there be a delay for several hours until the next business day, or will the team rapidly respond in about an hour?
- Is the company reputable, well-established, and locally owned and operated?
- Are technicians experienced, well-trained, and IICRC-certified?
- Will the latest equipment, cutting-edge technologies, advanced cleaning techniques, and EPA-approved products be used during the restoration?
- Does the company have positive reviews on social media and with the Better Business Bureau?
- Are references available?
- Will an estimate with appropriate documentation be provided?
- Does the company handle the insurance claims process from beginning to end?
Once the customer service agent answers these questions, the property owner must answer questions about his or her personal information, the nature of the property damage disaster, insurance information, and payment method.
The best time to qualify a property damage restoration company is prior to an emergency restoration incident. The property owner can take time to make a list of providers, research the companies on the internet, select finalists, and then communicate with each company when the home is not smoldering or submerged in flood waters. At the end of the process, a dedicated service provider has been chosen so that when disaster strikes, only one call needs to be made.
Since the company has been pre-qualified, all the necessary information for the customer is on file. The customer service representative only needs to glean information about the nature and extent of the disaster. By streamlining the process, the customer can promptly reach out to the dedicated service provider. Delays in beginning the damage cleanup and restoration add layers of complexity to the project. Advanced secondary damage increases the labor demands while reducing the number of items that can be salvaged. Replacements are much more expensive than restoration. Pre-qualification and quick communication by the homeowner save time and money.
The Importance of Internal Communication
Effective communication within the restoration company is necessary to deliver a rapid response by crews that are prepared to act when they arrive on the scene. During the qualification process mentioned earlier, SERVPRO gleans vital information from the customer. Much more than the physical address of the property, the crews have access to vital information about the home or business, such as the location of the main water valve, electrical panels, layout, entrances, and any onsite hazards that might endanger the crew or the occupants of the structure. The technicians are also made aware of the nature and extent of the disaster so they can bring the equipment, tools, cleaning products, and PPG to quickly and safely begin the cleanup. No time is wasted in unnecessary discovery and disclosure. A failure to communicate leads to costly inefficiencies and errors, but accurate communication makes for a rapid response, efficient staging, and a quicker cleanup.
Crew to Customer Communication
When technicians communicate with the customer, everyone benefits. Confusion and conflict are avoided, expectations are fulfilled, and customers are satisfied. Clear, honest communication creates a positive, trusting relationship between the restoration company and the customer.
Communication and the Claims Process
The insurance claims process can be a nightmare for the typical homeowner. The importance of the restoration company communicating with the insurance company to manage the claims process is invaluable because it removes a heavy burden from the shoulders of the property owner or property manager.
The Importance of Communicating a Positive Message about the Service Providers and the Service Provided
Positive reviews communicate social proof of a company’s professionalism, integrity, and performance. A positive review informs others of the good experience a customer had, as well as the expectations future customers can have. The typical SERVPRO franchise embraces the idea that property damage cleanup and restoration is both a service and a way to help others in a time of distress, anxiety, and personal need. Kind words of affirmation and thanks on social media are encouraging and empowering for technicians who often sacrifice to serve others when the call comes in.
A satisfied customer posted the following review of the damage restoration company: “SERVPRO came out the same day we called. What a relief! I received clear communication from Veronica every step of the way. Much appreciated.”
Contact SERVPRO of Palo Alto to learn more about water damage restoration, fire damage restoration, mold remediation, storm damage cleanup, and other restoration and cleaning services. The office can be reached by phone at (650) 800-3448 or by email at office@SERVPROpaloalto.com