As the owner of Seaside Boats, you are always on the lookout for ways to
expand your customer base. One of your best advertisement tools is word of
mouth. That's the advertisement you get when a satisfied customer tells
friends or family about what a good job you did building their custom boat.
Today, a customer came to you as a referral from another person for whom
you recently completed a custom boat. Your previous customer raved about your
services and the quality of your work. As a result, this new customer brought
his own plans for a boat he would like you to build. You agreed to get back
to him with a price quote by later in the day.
As you look over the plans, you find several flaws that could cause serious
problems with the vessel once it is in the water. However, you fear if you
mention them, the customer will be upset. These are plans that he has drawn,
and he explained to you that his degree in engineering gave him the knowledge
to draw the plans.
You consider building the boat and correcting the flaws along
the way without the knowledge of the customer. But changing one of the flaws
will make an obvious change in the appearance of the boat. The change in appearance
may cause the customer to refuse to pay for the boat when it is finished.
"I find that communicating with my customers is perhaps the most essential
part of satisfying them," says Sheila Howard. She is a custom boatbuilder
and restorer. "I tell my customers up front what to expect and what not to
expect. Otherwise, I get left holding the bag."
What do you do?Tell the customer about the flawsCorrect the flaws without his knowledge and hope he finds
the boat acceptable when you are finished