Recent Posts

The Importance of Adding Value to the Client/Realtor Relationship

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

The Importance of Adding Value to the Client/Realtor Relationship

SERVPRO  had the opportunity to interact with the That Realty Group sales team during a lunch and learn earlier this week. Both teams had a great time and shared a delicious meal form Palmetto Restaurant and Ale House. The focus of the lunch and learn was to highlight the benefits of SERVPRO residential service to both buyers and sellers of homes

One such benefit is the knowledge that any water or mold damage that is discovered during an inspection will be mitigated by a professional company with an excellent reputation and level of customer service. This can add peace of mind for the buyer, seller, and realtor throughout the transaction.

Realtors can also further develop a level of trust with their clients by being proactive with SERVPRO’s contact information in anticipation of an event. These events do not have to necessarily disastrous in nature either. A great example is a home was vandalized with tattoo ink on the front porch, windows, and some exterior walls, and this was within three months of purchasing the home. The homeowners felt angry, victimized, and embarrassed. And they were completely new with the police, so they reached out to their realtor. Their realtor contacted our office to see if there was availability to assist her former clients quickly, and SERVPRO was on site that same morning to determine the best action plan. The home was cleaned up and only a few pieces of wicker furniture needed to be replaced, saying the homeowner a significant amount. But more importantly, the homeowners and realtor relationship grew stronger even though their transaction had been completed. A month later when friends of the homeowner were looking to relocate, they immediately reached out to that same realtor because they trusted them to take care of those they cared about.

Realtors that utilize SERVPRO get the immediate benefit of quality, reputable work. But they also get the long-term benefit of adding value to their client relationships as well.  

Clear Communication and Customer Service

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Clear Communication and Customer Service

Developing strong communication skills is essential for many levels of personal and professional success. Those same skills can be applied to assist in creating exceptional customer experiences. Practicing a communication skill will make that skill second nature and reinforce the benefit clear communication will have. Many communication skill drills involve role-playing, and while that can be helpful it is not necessarily retainable, and “retainability” is a significant part of training.

One of the alternatives to role-playing exercises is the “building block challenge.”Which involves breaking up participants into groups of three and having them work together to build a small set from a building block toy line. The catch is that only one person can see and read the instructions, one person is allowed to build the set, and the “middle person” identifies the pieces based on the description. You set a time limit and rotate roles so that each participant gets an opportunity with providing and executing the instructions and change out block sets each rotation to ensure each experience is different. The purpose of this activity is to build skills based around providing instructions and directions without having any physical input on the project. The challenge has been used to train over the phone technical support specialists and provided measurable positive changes to efficiency and customer service metrics.   

You may not provide support over the phone, but practicing conveying a message clearly while having tactile tools for the exercise to view progress, can improve your ability to communicate and provide benefits to personal, professional, and customer relationships.

How Critical Thinking Can Help Communication

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

It has been said that the definition of insanity is “doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results.” And if you have tried to make an eight-year-old do their homework or walk someone through a full system restore to their cell phone, then you may feel that this in fact true. So how do you get a message across when the most direct way is not working, or the other party isn’t exactly receptive? You have to change the delivery of the message without changing the message. Simple right, not so much.

The concept of making a message more receptive isn’t the same as hiding pet medicine in a treat, the point of adjusting the message is so that the other party comprehends the message not just accepts it. It can take a lot of creativity and critical thinking skills to “customize information for the audience,” but how do you practice that? Puzzles? Puns? Math? Well, yes. But there is a way to do so that doesn’t require an investment in school supplies.

Years ago, there was a hashtag on Twitter #ExplainAFilmPlotBadly that centered around describing a film’s plot without any significant details. It was just as much fun to decipher the movie as it was to come up with a description all of your own. I then tried using it to train a group of support reps on how to deliver a message to a customer if they did not seem to understand or accept it: saying no without using “no,” describing directions on a computer or phone, etc. And this method seemed to click with those that I trained even more so than the standard “say this not that” lessons. So the idea was itself an example of how it worked.

Some of the examples are simple and easy to guess:

Moody billionaire works out his abandonment issues by arguing with clowns (Batman).

And some were more complex and required a great deal of thought:

A widower’s son is kidnapped, and the only person that will help him has short-term amnesia (Finding Nemo).

These exercises helped to jumpstart the trainees critical thinking on how they can change the message and improve their customer service skills and increased efficiency. And are a great way to see you can help get your message across the next time you feel like you are stuck in a loop with a customer, coworker, or family memb

Document Drying and Restoration Services

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO  offers a variety of services from water/fire damage restoration, mold mitigation, and commercial/residential cleaning services. But did you know that we also provide Document Drying and Restoration for our commercial clients?

Damage from a water or fire event is not limited to the building and furniture. Sometimes files such as patient records, invoices, and legal documents are impacted by water, smoke, and soot contact. SERVPRO’s document drying process is designed to stabilize damaged documents and prevent further damage quickly. The treatment facility is secured, the chain of custody follows HIPAA guidelines, and our Drying Chamber personnel is Master HIPAA certified allowing them to handle protected health information (PHI).

Our Document Restoration Facility:

  • Innovative: we use the latest vacuum freeze-drying method, as well as gamma irradiation technology for sterilizing
  • Secure: managed by HIPPA Master-certified technicians, under 24/7 surveillance
  • Digital: we use a computerized inventory system for digitizing your documents
  • Flexible capacity - we can accommodate large commercial losses or small residential jobs
  • Full Service: we offer a range of services including drying, cleaning/disinfecting, re-jacketing, digitizing, and deodorization

SERVPRO document services also include digitization services that reduce the need for large filing rooms and help make data access more accessible for businesses. Certified destruction services allow for sensitive information to be appropriately disposed of and provide peace of mind to businesses and their clients.

Types of content:

  • paper documents
  • books and magazines
  • manuscripts and files
  • photographs, films, negatives, and microfiche
  • x-rays
  • blueprints and maps
  • parchment

Making a fire Escape Plan for Your Home

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

You had fire drills growing up at school, (hopefully) you have the occasional fire drill at work now that you are an adult, but do you ever have fire drills at home? Coming up with and practicing family safety drills can help to make sure your family is prepared in the event of an emergency. It is an important topic to discuss with your family, especially children.

The National Fire Protection Association has a helpful section on how to create a family fire escape plan. It includes how to draw a fire escape path for your home, how to reinforce fire safety to younger children, and tips how to stay as safe as possible during a fire.

Some of the tips include:

  • Call 911 as soon as possible, even if you think you can contain the fire
  • Know at least 2 ways out of each room
  • Have a designated outside meeting place a safe distance from the home
  • Assign “partners” for young, elderly, or family members with mobility issues
  • Close Doors behind you as you leave each room to slow the spread of smoke, heat, and fire

Your family’s safety is the first priority. After emergency services have done their job SERVPRO will be here to help you repair, restore, and recover your belongings.

Pack-Out Services

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

SERVPRO  specializes in emergency services for water, fire, and storm damage. But you do not have to have an emergency to take advantage of our service. In fact, a few of our services can be a part of your remodel plan.

Remodeling your home can be an exciting way to truly make your house your home. The concepts of expanding living spaces, adding a garden tub, or getting the perfect kitchen can all get the imagination racing. But often it’s the tiny details that are overlooked and bring large amounts of stress and frustration as they insert a little reality into your dream. Especially the ever so small detail of “Where are we going to put all of our stuff while we do this?”

Having the contents of your home packed-out by SERVPRO professional team can help answer that question and significantly reduce stress. We can provide you with an efficient and organized pack-out based on your needs. This will help reduce the amount of time the remodel can take, protect your belongings from unexpected damage from accidents or construction debris, and give you peace of mind so that you can focus on your project. We have local business partners that can facilitate moving and storage as well, helping to lighten the burden even more.

So if your remodel and renovation is to finalize your dream home or a necessity because of damage, we are prepped and READY to be there for you.

Coffee Stain

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Years ago I worked for a company that prided itself on its customer service; they called it ‘legendary.” They didn’t just view customer service as the interactions between employees and guests or the quality of their food, but also as the cleanliness of the building. It was all part of the customer experience. One of the illustrations used to convey why cleanliness is part of customer service was The Coffee Stain Story.

A person books a flight across the country and they were able to get a great price and no layovers. The flight boarded on time, the seats on either side were empty, so there was plenty of room to be comfortable, the movie was good, and the headphones were complimentary. Flight staff was courteous and brought the passenger a free drink. The plane even landed on time. It was an incredible flight.

But, when they lowered the tray table, they noticed a small coffee ring stain. And even all of the free stuff, extra room, and no inconveniences, it was all they could think about. When they were asked “how was your flight,” they would respond with “It was OK, but my tray table was dirty. Had a big old nasty coffee ring on it.”

The story shows how the perception of their experience was hugely impacted by such a tiny detail, and customer perception is customer experience. It was taught to us to show how important every detail can be, and we must do all that we can to control the controllable.

Commercial Property After A Water Damage Event

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

looding and water damage commercial properties are often complex with numerous issues that require a knowledgeable and flexible response. Whether we’re dealing with a relatively small water cleanup scenario or a large-scale event, we work quickly to assess each unique situation and isolate the damaged area. In many instances, normal operations can continue in a temporary space while we restore your facility.

Restoring Commercial Properties Presents Unique Challenges

Our professionals are trained to be mindful of legal and environmental concerns and strive to fully restore the damaged area while working within your budgetary constraints. We understand that every hour spent cleaning up is an hour of lost revenue and productivity. So when an emergency situation arises in your business, give us a call, and we’ll be there fast with the help you need.

when to call 911

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Know when to call 911

Even if you are fully trained in first aid or CPR always alert 911 right away during an emergency situation including:

  • Fire
  • Serious injury
  • Sudden violent illness (poisoning)

911 operators are trained to assist in any way possible, so it is important to answer their questions as best as you can, listen to them carefully, and do NOT hang up.

Take a class

Several types of courses available will teach first aid, CPR, and how to utilize an AED correctly. The American Red Cross’ website has a tool to help locate classes based on your city, and help you learn to handle:

  • Cuts, burns, head injuries, and broken bones.
  • Someone who cannot breathe
  • When a person’s heart suddenly stops beating

Make a First Aid Kit

First aid kits have all that you need for rapid response to many situations to treat those that require medical attention. It is incredibly important to have a kit nearby including in your home, at work, and even in the car.  A well-stocked first aid kit should include the following:

  • Directions on how to treat basic injuries and when to call for more help
  • Bandages
  • Tape
  • Scissors
  • Gloves to prevent contamination risks
  • Antiseptic solution or wipes

Be sure to check and restock your first aid kit regularly.

The knowledge and experience you will gain from learning these skills can empower you to make the right decision and take swift action in the event of an emergency.

How to Read Storm Warnings

11/7/2018 (Permalink)

Storm Warnings can pop up anywhere: TV, cell phone warnings, radio, etc., but do we really understand what these warnings mean? Know these definitions so you are prepared for any storm:

  • Tornado Watch Conditions are ripe for tornadoes within the watch area. Tornadoes associated with hurricanes and tropical storms are typically a very significant cause of death and damage.
  • Tornado Warning A tornado has been spotted visually or on radar. Usually issued for a county. If a tornado WARNING is issued where you live, GET TO THE MIDDLE OF THE LOWEST FLOOR OF A STRONG BUILDING IMMEDIATELY!!! 
  • Severe Thunderstorm Watch Conditions are ripe for severe thunderstorms within the watch area.
  • Severe Thunderstorm Warning There is a severe thunderstorm in or heading for the warned area. Treat this like a tornado warning!!
  • Flash Flood Watch Flash floods are likely to occur in the near future. Be alert for rising water and be prepared to have to move to high ground.
  • Flash Flood Warning Flash floods are occurring or expected to occur in the near future. If this happens, get to high ground immediately, and GET AWAY FROM VEHICLES... it only takes 18 inches of water to sweep a car or truck away!
  • High Wind Advisory Windy conditions may occur in the advisory area. This usually makes for unsafe conditions while driving, especially in (but not limited to) large vehicles. Also, avoid boating anywhere in the advisory area.
  • High Wind Warning Very strong winds are expected or already are occurring that present a significant danger while driving, boating and other outdoor activities. Often issued near tropical storms and hurricanes.