Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Mesa AZ
    Posts
    1,181

    Default ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    Had a call today, customer stated realtor referred me.
    Gave the speel on my services.

    Customer then stated the realtor, same one that refered me, told her to get at least 2 references, names and ph#s of prior customers.

    My reply was, I prefer to not give my customers personnal info out, and if I or anybody else provided this information, how would you know if the people I provided were not my relatives or best friends.

    This is the 2nd time in 7 yrs that I was asked this info.
    The other customer agreed that they would not know if the names I gave them was legit, and hired me.

    How would or do you handle this?

    Similar Threads:
    OREP Home Inspector E&O Insurance 2

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Santa Rosa, CA
    Posts
    2,284

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    I rarely get requests for referrals. First of all, I point out that any contact information that I have is confidential and I do not share it with anyone. Then I point out that any phone numbers that I have would only be for the most recent clients that have not moved into their new home, and would not know if I did a good job or not. I do not have current phone numbers for people that have moved in and had a chance to find out the quality of my work. Any referral that I could give would be useless.

    Department of Redundancy Department
    http://www.FullCircleInspect.com/

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Cape Cod, Massachusetts
    Posts
    559

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    It's quite common for someone to ask for customer referrals. I think someone who requests this is conducting their due dilligence. Usually a client will ask for someone you did an inspection for within the past month or so.

    If I were a client and asked, but the HI told me it was personal information, sorry. - I would look for another HI.

    Proper etiquette would be to contact the past client and ask if you can use them as a referal source. If they agree, let them know who may be calling.

    Prior to providing the referral to the perspective client you should also let them know that you wish to check with your past client before you give them their telephone number.

    There are plenty of questions a perspective client can ask of the referral that would be helpful information.


  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,304

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    "Had a call today, customer stated realtor referred me."

    Not sure how to handle that ... never had it happen ...

    (Okay, so I lied a bit. )

    I *have* (because I also had those requests) said 'Once I inspect this house for you, would *YOU* want *ME* to go around giving your name out to just anyone who asked me for it?'' (long pause) Client responds 'Hmmm ... I guess not, I'd want to be asked first, and maybe not even then. Guess I don't really need to bother others, I would not want my name spread around and get calls from people I do not know.'

    I did have a couple of people who said 'yes, it would be okay with me if you called me first', and those were the people whose names I kept in a separate list to call if I was ever asked again. And, yes, I was asked again a couple of times and I called my client and they gave / did not give their permission to be called (even after saying it was okay, they changed their mind and said no).

    Of course, though, "realtor referred me" was not a phrase I heard often in the last 7-10 years in business.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Dallas, Texas
    Posts
    4,112

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    I will post customer comments on a web site, etc. with the personal information removed.
    I do make it a practice to protect my customers information, but I have called ahead once or twice as Jerry mentioned.
    I might also give out a trusted business person's information (insurance, realtor, etc.) for references.
    I am in a networking group with people that I trust and who have used or recommended my services and vice versa.

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Spring Hill (Nashville), TN
    Posts
    5,827

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    I have had it come up a few times over the past twelve years, each time I told the caller this:

    This is not a common request and due to state and federal privacy laws I will need to contact my clients and get their permission to let you have their contact information. I'm sure you understand, it might take me a few days or so for them to get back with me so I will need to call you back.

    The last time was about a month ago, after I hung up the phone the caller called back a short time later and booked the inspection without me providing them with any names and numbers.

    Scott Patterson, ACI
    Spring Hill, TN
    www.traceinspections.com

  7. #7
    Lee Nettnin's Avatar
    Lee Nettnin Guest

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    I get this request once in a while, and I always tell the client that I prefer not to bother my past clients. I tell them I am a member of the BBB for that reason, They can call the BBB and get the any info they want about my business. I then tell them that even a terrible HI should be able to come up with 2 or 3 names that would give a good reference.


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,330

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    I have had many clients tell me that if I ever need a referral, they would be happy to act as one. I usually ask them if it's ok to give out their phone number.

    I also have given out the names of Realtors that have used me and said it was OK. I give out their office number.

    In any case, I always ask if it's OK to give their number out.

    It doesn't happen very often, same as when I'm asked for my license number or proof of insurance (from builder or listing agent).
    JF


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Rockwall Texas
    Posts
    4,517

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    We might get someone asking for a referral once a year.

    I wish I could comeback with the line, that I need a referral from someone they know before I choose to do the job for them.

    Say for example,

    Do they make good on their checks for work they have contracted to have done?

    Do they show up on time?

    Are they known to be the type to cancel an appointment if they find someone else a buck cheaper?

    Are they just a PIA and I should not deal with them at all?

    Are they the type and just call and complain of the smallest issues?

    I wonder how many would get you names of referrals of how they do things.

    rick


  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    2,365

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick Hurst View Post
    We might get someone asking for a referral once a year.

    I wish I could comeback with the line, that I need a referral from someone they know before I choose to do the job for them.

    Say for example,

    Do they make good on their checks for work they have contracted to have done?

    Do they show up on time?

    Are they known to be the type to cancel an appointment if they find someone else a buck cheaper?

    Are they just a PIA and I should not deal with them at all?

    Are they the type and just call and complain of the smallest issues?

    I wonder how many would get you names of referrals of how they do things.

    rick
    That's classic.....

    Similar item today..... a guy calls to 'ask me a couple questions....' It's slow, so what the hell..... 20 minutes later I'm thinking I should bill this guy for my time..... I'm also thinking 'God, I hope this guy doesn't hire me..... he's way too anal and I don't think I really want to work for him' - Is it bad for business to 'fire' a client? I think I want to start screening my clients with Rick's list...


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Columbus GA
    Posts
    3,741

    Default Re: ? on using prior customers as referrals.

    I know this is getting off topic, but it does have some relevance.

    I have 3 rules I use. It helps me determine if I want to accept the job.

    #1 Can I make the customer happy?
    #2 Can I expect to be paid?
    #3 Will I make a reasonable profit.

    Rule #1 is by far the most important.
    If you cannot make the customer happy, what are your expectations of being paid, and if you are not paid, will you make a profit? Even if you were paid in advance, you can lose all profits if you have to make return visits, give refunds or discounts, etc...
    If you think the customer will be overly picky or they have unreal expectations, this is a sign to proceed with caution. That being said, do not accept a job that you are unqualified for. Do not accept a job that you do not understand what the customers expectations are. Do not accept a job where you are unable to meet the customers expectations.
    Remember, whatever the reason, if the customer is not happy, you will pay (not get paid).

    #2 See rule #1. If rule #1 is OK then tell the customer how, when, and where you expect payment.

    #3 Read rule #1 and #2 again. If you don't get paid, give discounts and refunds, or have to make return visits, you will not make a profit. My father tells me " If I ain't gonna make a profit, I mite as well go fishing".

    If I am talking with someone that I think I cannot make happy, I tell them I am booked up, or price my service beyond what they are willing to pay.

    How does this relate to referrals? If you have customers that are happy they will be more willing to give good referrals. But in my experience customers ask for referrals because they do not know enough to ask anything else. This is my opportunity to ask questions.

    ' correct a wise man and you gain a friend... correct a fool and he'll bloody your nose'.

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •