Answering 5 Common Customer Questions

There are certain questions that come up time and again from clients, and handling them in the right way can build customer loyalty
Answering 5 Common Customer Questions

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If you’ve spent any time at all on the job, you’ve seen plenty of unusual stuff and have had to address a lot of questions about what a structure’s plumbing can and cannot handle.

Even though your name isn’t “Google,” it’s a good thing your customers are asking you questions: That means they know you’re the professional. It might be tempting to roll your eyes at what seems — at least to you — like no-brainer information. But the more tactful your response, the better.

Here are some of those common questions and how to handle them, courtesy of

1. “Can You Flush a Kleenex?”
The short answer? No. Kleenex and other facial tissues are not flushable. While the internet is full of varying answers to this question, the manufacturer of the Kleenex brand itself states that it is not flushable. Similarly, baby wipes, paper towels, feminine hygiene products and paper napkins are also not flushable. Let your customers know that if it didn’t come out of their body or off a toilet paper roll, it shouldn’t be considered flushable, just to be on the safe side.

2. “Help! My Child Flushed a Toy Down the Toilet! Is There Anything I Can Do?”
It’s inevitable that at some point, a small child in the home will try to flush an object down the toilet — many toys have met their end in the family pot. If your client can see the object, they can manually retrieve it. If they’re a little braver, they can drain the bowl and use a mirror to try to see the object. If it’s not in plain sight, chances are it’s gone. Smaller toys can usually clear the floor flange and cause no issues unless there are other clogs farther down the line. But larger toys or toilets that are backing up after a toy flush should be checked out by you.

3. “What’s the Best Product for Regular Drain Maintenance?”
Many well-meaning homeowners try to keep their drains free and clear by performing DIY maintenance with caustic chemicals. Let your clients know that it’s unsafe for you to try to perform maintenance on their pipes if they’ve recently used Drain-O or another chemical drain cleaner. For those insistent on needing a solution, a pot of boiling hot water isn’t going to hurt — especially if they need professional assistance after the fact.

4. “Why Is My Toilet Running?”
Usually this has a simple answer: The flap at the bottom of the tank isn’t sealing properly. Ask the client to remove the top of the tank and flush the toilet, keeping an eye on the rubber flap. If it doesn’t close completely, the float ball trigger will never be activated since the water won’t reach the fill line. If that isn’t the issue, a house call is in order.

5. “What Can I Put Down My Garbage Disposal?”
Advise your clients to keep the water running when using their garbage disposal. Soft or brittle waste — think eggshells, cooked vegetables and small pieces of meat — are easily flushed. Hard material like bones and coffee grounds wear out the disposal and blades. Make clients aware that fibrous materials such as cornhusks or paper towels jam the disposal, necessitating a visit from you.

Answering Common Questions
You may have to answer the most common questions several times in a day, but remember that your clients are asking you because you’re the professional and they want to do things correctly — not rely on something they read on the internet. Answering their questions thoroughly and tactfully allows you to keep or gain loyal customers who trust your word.


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