"We didn’t lose custom: we’ve got a good reputation and people are very loyal"
JOHN OWNS A WORKSHOP THAT WAS FLOODED FROM A RIVER AT THE BACK OF THE PREMISES
“We didn’t lose custom. We’ve got a good reputation and people are very loyal. We had to turn some customers away for a while though, if they wanted some things done. The day after the flood happened we borrowed a machine from a company that we know and we got going that way. And I also ordered a new machine and we got engineers out to fix the other machines – they get a lot of business from us, so owed us one. So I think we were up and running within four hours the next day, and probably fully operational two or three days after that. We had a spare digital phone system, which we put in ourselves, and we had to get a new CCTV system and some of the machines just needed cleaning out and servicing. So for the first few days I would say we were working really, really hard and probably we did about half our usual turnover in a day with just one machine.”
“But there’s some things you can’t do on the small machine we borrowed for the first few days, so we had to tell people like that to come back. And they did come back; we didn’t lose any custom because of our reputation and because people are loyal, because we’re very honest. Whereas if you go into a main dealer or a national chain or whatever, they’re all on individual commission. So you go in with a problem and they’ll say, “Oh I can’t mend that mate, it’s illegal. And then if they can mend it, they’ll charge you fifteen, twenty quid, whereas, you know, our lads are very loyal to the customers. If it can be fixed, we fix it and don’t charge over the odds. If somebody comes in for replacement parts and they don’t need them, we’ll say they don’t need them. And we do a better job and have machinery that can give customers a better result than they’d get elsewhere. So I think that they kind of came back.”
• Would customers remain loyal to your business if you were flooded?
• How would it impact your business if some customers went elsewhere while you were recovering from a flood?
• How would it impact your business if you permanently lost some customers to competitors?