Don’t Take Customer Trust For Granted

A newspaper columnist recounts the visit he had from a plumber, putting some perspective on the issue of trust

Don’t Take Customer Trust For Granted

Chris Gonzales of bluefrog Plumbing + Drain in Portage, Indiana. (Photo by Jerry Davich)

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Chris Gonzales operates a bluefrog Plumbing + Drain franchise in Portage, Indiana. Recently he found himself at the home of Jerry Davich performing a fairly routine job — replacing a bathroom shower.

Davich also happens to be a columnist for the Chicago Tribune, and a comment by Gonzales during the course of the work triggered a column idea:

“When you think of it, it’s kind of weird that a couple of strangers are in your home, putting a hole in your bathroom wall.”

Davich writes about the somewhat blind trust that has to occur between plumbers and their customers, noting that he hoped Gonzales would be able to perform the work correctly, fairly, and in a timely fashion but only had the referrals of friends to go on as a guarantee of that.

“I possess no mechanical skills. This isn’t false modesty, like some guys feign. Truth is, I’m an idiot when it comes to tools and repairs of any kind … Because of my mechanical ineptitude, I’ve had to trust other people to do such things for me, for a price of course. The cost also includes a sense of trust,” Davich writes.

Customer interaction is something that comes up often in the articles in Plumber magazine and on Davich’s column hits on the trust factor that plumbers always have to be mindful of. When you have that working in your favor, it will lead to good things for your business (i.e. repeat customers and word-of-mouth referrals). On the other hand, when something happens to damage that customer trust, it can be difficult to repair it.

Check out Davich’s column and be reminded of the perspective your customers have of you and the type of work your skillset and training have equipped you to be able to take on. It’s work they can’t do themselves (or at least shouldn’t; all plumbers have encountered unfortunate DIY jobs), so they must put their trust in a stranger to handle it. Don’t take that trust for granted. Instead, use it to your advantage.


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