The Plumber Who Couldn't Fix It

Do you sometimes feel damned if you do and damned if you don't?

You do a short term band aid fix for a client who says they're broke, only to get a call a week later to say the band-aid fix hasn't worked and they expect you to fix it properly for free!


You offer the best long term solution, only to be told you're too expensive and not get the job. Customer says Backyard Benny down the road will do it for peanuts and a beer!

Yep......Sometimes you're damned if you do and damned if you don't! And both can be bad for your business.

Every time you, or your plumbers, do a job for your customer you'll be remembered in one of two ways.

  1. the plumber who fixed the problem. OR
  2. the plumber who couldn't fix the problem.

Often plumbers fall into the 2nd category but not because they're bad plumbers.

It's because they always assume the customer wants to spend the least amount of money possible, and you're right, they do. 

BUT......and this is a big BUT...only if spending the least amount of money will give them a long term or permanent solution to their problem.

Like all of us...they want the best solution for the smallest price.......

But, when that bandaid fix doesn't work, they don't remember that you were trying to save them money, they just remember paying you for a service or product that hasn't worked.  

So how do you avoid this in your own business? 

Give the customer what they want, and also make sure you don't get remembered as the plumber who couldn't fix it.

ALWAYS offer the repair/replacement, service or parts that will guarantee the BEST long term or permanent fix or solution to your customers needs. What I'm trying to say, is don't NOT offer the best possible solution for the job.......just because it maybe expensive or you think it maybe out of your customer's budget.  Even if it is. It's not your job to decide how much money they should spend. It's your job to be professional in your approach and do the work that best suits your customers needs.

Always remember, your customer called you because you're a licensed expert in your field. 

But you can't blame your customer.  Think about it......

At some point, we've all purchased a tool, product or service at a cheap price, and it either didn't get done properly or turned out to be a piece of junk...... And then we've either had to pay for the task to be redone or buy the more expensive, but better quality tool or service, which ultimately cost us more than buying the quality one in the 1st place! yeah....I know I have.

When you Make sure you give the best possible solution, as well as the band aid solution. your customer now has the option of doing this one or that one, instead of a "yes do the job" or "no that seems expensive I'll get another quote". 

Present your customer with 2 or 3 options, and explain the outcome and benefits they will get from choosing each one. When presented correctly, most clients will want the job done properly, even when it costs more. 

Sometimes the more expensive option is overall, the most cost effective long term solution.

By always giving your customers options you're drastically reducing your risk of your Customer being unhappy with your work.  Even if they choose the bandaid solution and it doesn't last, (as you advised it probably wouldn't) most reasonable customers will realise they should have gone for the better option and you'll now be the expert they didn't listen to, rather than the plumber who couldn't fix the job! 

If you only give one option based on price, your customer only has one way to judge your service, whether it worked, or whether it didn't. 

PS: ALL options given to your customer should be in writing that you both have a copy of (either electronically or on paper).

Which plumber do you want to be?