Water, water everywhere!
When you find a flood in your motorhome, it’s never going to be good news, but it left us with big smiles on our faces! How and why? Watch this to find out…
Hi, and welcome to another episode of BaranovTV, designed to demystify the world of accounts and tax, and to help your business grow.
This week I thought I’d let you know of a little drama that we had when we took our motorhome for its annual habitation check.
Now, a motorhome is essentially a van with a big box stuck on the back and it’s this box, the habitation area, where we sleep and eat and everything. It needs to be checked on an annual basis. They’re essentially checking it for damp, and to make sure that everything in it works properly.
So, we trundled up to Northampton, and they spent their three allotted hours, doing the habitation check. Bang on schedule they came back to us and said, ‘Right, you’re all done, here’s your keys, thank you very much.’ And we made our way back out to the van to load up, and to head back home.
Until, thankfully, the new branch manager came and spoke to us, and just said hello and introduced himself. He told a little story that he was walking past our van at the time they were doing one of the checks, and he saw water gushing out of the bottom of the van.
He’s quite new to the motorhome industry. He has a long motor industry history, but is new to the motorhome industry so he was a little bit concerned! He went over to the technician, and was told, it’s fine, we’re just doing the check on the fresh water system.
That triggered something in my brain, and I thought I’d check that we had the cap that goes on the fresh water tank, to make sure that when you fill it with water the water stays in the tank, and doesn’t come straight through. That cap wasn’t where it should’ve been, where we’d left it! I went on a hunt around the inside of the motorhome to find it, thinking a technician had probably left it in the sink or somewhere else.
What I found, rather than the fresh water tank cover, was water itself, everywhere!
Now, the biggest fear of any motorhome owner is damp, because you can get damp in the structure of a motorhome, and it leads to rot. And it leads to rot very quickly, and it becomes VERY expensive, and quite dangerous if you have an accident.
So, my immediate panic was, oh my gosh, there’s water everywhere!
- It was all along the surfaces in the kitchen.
- It was all over the floor.
- It was in my cupboards.
- It was in the drawers.
- It had soaked the doormat.
When they’d done the check on the water system, they’d opened the taps, and the tap wasn’t over the kitchen sink. So, when they put the tap on, water had gone everywhere.
At that point, Chris shouted to the Branch Manager, and they brought stuff to mop up with while he went and spoke to the technician, and told him how impressed I wasn’t.
And I was down on my hands and knees cleaning up all the water!
Long story short, they were extremely apologetic:
- They helped us clean it up.
- They found the cap.
- They found the technician.
- Apologies all around.
- They’ve given us a letter confirming that we’re entitled to a free full valet, inside and outside of our motorhome.
If anyone has ever seen a motorhome or ever owned one, that last is a lovely thing to have, because they will clean the roof of the van, which means that we don’t have to! And at 3 1/2 meters tall, that’s quite a challenge to do.
So, when we left them initially we were thinking how well things had gone. Then we had a massive dip, because there was this water everywhere, which needed cleaning up, but then they absolutely redeemed themselves.
They were brilliant.
They were so apologetic, the new branch manager spent quite a lot of time with us, and made sure that everything was sorted, we were happy with it, we were satisfied that we’d dried everything up, and that we were satisfied to have the valet.
He told us what he’s trying to achieve, and that his primary focus is making sure that these sorts of things don’t happen and the little things that cause problems are eradicated from their systems. They’re trying to document everything, and have very clear processes, to prevent this sort of thing happening in the future.
We left there feeling far happier with them, having enhanced our relationship with them. We felt so much better leaving after that, than we would have done if we’d left after the three hour hab check, got in the van and just driven away.
Actually, what went really badly wrong made the our relationship with the dealership much, much stronger:
- We now know what they’re trying to work towards.
- We know that the little niggles that we’ve had in the past with them are being addressed and someone has taken that sort of stuff onboard and they are working really, really hard to improve things.
- We now have a relationship with the branch manager, which we didn’t have before.
- We know that the receptionist that we’ve dealt with for the last two years is moving over to sales, but we’ve met her replacement, and we know what’s going on.
We know that in our own business that things will always go wrong and we know that it’s how we handle that, and putting things right, that will make the big difference.
That’s the same in any business. It’s always about how you make people feel, and if you have the dip where something goes wrong, you need to make sure that you’re enhancing that relationship and improving it and absolutely making sure that the client or customer understands what’s gone wrong, why, what you’re going to do about it, what’s going to put it right, and how you’re going to make sure that it doesn’t happen to them in the future.
And obviously, what you want to do is make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else either!
So, my suggestion for this week is to think about how you’ll deal with problems that WILL happen within your business:
- Where those risk points are
- How you’ll address them
- How you’ll make sure that they can’t happen again.
- How you’ll become aware of them as much as anything else, because if you don’t know about them you can’t solve them.
And if clients or customers leave you without being happy, you need to try and make sure that you find out how you have a mechanism to find out that they’re not happy, rather than them just going somewhere else next time.
So, have a think about that, and I’ll see you all very soon.