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Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? #2775509 10/25/18 06:18 PM
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Duaner Online Content OP
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I call or text my customers back after 12 months (earlier, 6 months, if they need it or ask for it) but here's the thing. If I leave a message on their phone and they don't reply or if I text and they don't reply I'm left wondering "....did they forget or does the no-reply mean their answer is "NO", I don't want it tuned again or not now, anyway"; or really does it mean anything at all usually and I should just continue phoning and texting until someone answers.

I'm fishing to see what you who have more experience do in such cases for it must happen to you too. I find that call backs are usually rewarding business-wise but it is better to talk 'voice-to-voice' and not to a message manager etc. Callbacks are the hardest part of my business for the reasons I have given and because it is "unnerving" to me. Maybe I'm a coward or at least I hate rejection. Do you have any advice for me. Tks, Gerald.


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
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Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2775539 10/25/18 08:01 PM
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Ed McMorrow, RPT Online Content
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Nobody likes rejection, period. But you can't get a yes if you aren't exposed to the chance of getting a no.


In a seemingly infinite universe-infinite human creativity is-seemingly possible.
According to NASA, 93% of the earth like planets possible in the known universe have yet to be formed.
Contact: Ed@LightHammerpiano.com
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2775553 10/25/18 10:19 PM
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It means they are not ready or don't need it.

I will never cold call a client for tuning. But I will send them a text message after a year as a reminder and to stay in touch. Getting no reply probably only means that they are not ready or they have other more important things to pay for.

Do inform clients about the need for an annual tuning when you are there, but they may not call back until years later when their piano has long gone way out again. That is the reality of the tuning profession.


Chris Leslie
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http://www.chrisleslie.com.au
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2775554 10/25/18 10:19 PM
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That Guy Offline
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There has been a lot of discussion about this subject and I've come to the conclusion that there's no right or wrong answer. I'd recommend doing what you feel comfortable with. That being said, I think generally, if someone doesn't respond, I'd take that as a "No" or "No, not right now. I'll contact you when I'm ready." It's hard for people to tell someone "No" over the phone, therefore they just don't respond. So, generally speaking, I'd recommend not continuing to call or text. Leave one message and leave it at that.


"That Tuning Guy"
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Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2775603 10/26/18 05:31 AM
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Yes, I take a no reply as a 'Not ready yet'. I include in the annual reminder text the option to 'unsubscribe' from the reminder list and in that way give the customer an opportunity to say they don't need my services anymore or have sold the piano.

Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2775614 10/26/18 07:12 AM
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Also, when I text or email, I tell them to reply "skip" if they would like to stay on the yearly reminder list but just skip this year's tuning...

I find that I've gotten more replies this way, it seems easier for them than having to come up with an excuse??

If I don't hear back at all, they get another reminder in a few months, then repeat...

While piano tuning may be high on our lists of "important things to do", it often ranks much lower - and just slips off the lists of things to schedule - at least that's what I hear back from a lot of folks.

It will be interesting to see what happens now that I have a self-scheduling option available to clients!

Ron Koval

Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2775636 10/26/18 09:44 AM
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johnstaf Online Crying
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Would it be better to send a message saying the tuning is due in two months, or whatever? Then people might budget for the tuning before your second reminder.

Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2775680 10/26/18 01:23 PM
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Interesting. I'm a customer, not a tuner. I want a tuning twice a year, and remain with the same tuner for years. I want my piano maintained properly.

I do research at good piano stores, or among the professional musicians I know, to ask for good recommendations when my current tuner retires or moves. To date, I have not been unhappy with my few choices.

My tuners have always waited for me to call them. I have occasionally delayed a tuning, or gone off my regular schedule for personal reasons, and play catch up later.

(I have been careful with my violin too - not all luthiers recognize their limitations, and I want a competent opinion, not a newbie to do any work. I would love to be able to tune my piano as often as my violin. )

I think a text message might be a good reminder for many clients, and maybe a follow-up message a month later if there was no reply?? I like the option of saying "skip this time."

And some addresses change, or messages disappear into the ether.

Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2775763 10/26/18 08:21 PM
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After tuning I ask before I leave if they would like a future call about tuning. I'm often asked what I recommend and we talk about what a reasonable for a good next time, which considers the use of the piano, climate conditions and perhaps expense. In my database I have a couple of popup lists with which I record their preference: Month/Year & Early, Mid, or Late (in that month), and Will Call Me & Do Not Call.

I very much like calling customers vs. a mailing. If I don't get an answer when I call, I usually leave a message. If a response doesn't come, I usually call a second time. If there is no response to a second call, I accept that either they don't want it done, not ready to do it, someone else is tuning it (ouch!), they no longer have the piano, etc. Maybe a no but not necessarily.

A nice thing about talking is that I don't have to make assumptions. If they don't want the piano done at that time, I can update my recommendation and ask if they'd like a call at another date. No pressure, it's a courtesy call with an opportunity to educate and find out what the customer wants.


David Bauguess
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2776963 10/31/18 04:54 AM
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I used to call my customers, but that´s frustrating. Often you get the husband who says that his wife (the player) is not at home or you get the kids, saying that the parents are not at home, or you get the answering machine.......

Now i send postcards. Yes, old school analog post cards. No digital texting or mailing. The postcard remains at the pin board for month but an e-mail gets deleted. The effect is that many customers answer to the postcard, but with some month delay. I send that card after 12, 24, 36 and 48 month. If i don´t get an answer after 48 month, i won´t stalk them anymore.


piano tech - tuner - dealer
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Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2778092 11/04/18 02:11 PM
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Originally Posted by RonTuner
It will be interesting to see what happens now that I have a self-scheduling option available to clients!

Ron Koval


Yes, please post later on how it goes. I've thought about doing that but it feels scary. frown

Right now I do most of my scheduling by email or text and it works out well for me but, going to a self-scheduling system might be the next step.


"That Tuning Guy"
Scott Kerns
Lincoln, NE
www.thattuningguy.com
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2778226 11/04/18 07:41 PM
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michaelopolis Online Content
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I think calling is a nice personal touch and think many of my middle aged and older customers appreciate a call.
Sometimes if i get voice mail and don't hear back from them i will send on a follow up text a week or 2 later or just call again.

I always tell clients that i recommend tuning yearly but that there is no pressure if they want to skip for a year or if they would prefer to call themselves in the future going forward.
Texts and emails can come across as automated, i think our clients like a more personal touch and appreciate when we ask on the phone " hows the piano doing, is young student Johnny playing much these days etc etc

I text and email plenty of customers too but they do seem to be in the younger age group which is the way things are going.

When i don't hear back i guess i try not to read into it too much, many times someone will call be back months or even years later to arrange a tuning.
I know when i get a reminder from the dentist, I rarely respond immediately to it.



Last edited by michaelopolis; 11/04/18 07:49 PM.
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2778272 11/05/18 12:39 AM
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To answer the topic question ....
It means whatever you intended it to mean when you arranged it with your customer at the last tuning:

A) I'll just call in 6 months to see if you are interested in tuning the piano
B) So you are saying that you want to maintain your piano on a regular basis. Let's plan on tuning it in 6 months. I'll give you a call to set up a specific appointment closer to that time so that we will know what is in our schedules.
C) So, we have made an appointment for the next regular service of your piano on March 23, 2019. We both have it in our calendars so it's definite but I'll call a week ahead as a reminder.

The point being, it's in your hands. If there's no answer to "A" let it go. "B" and especially "C" I'd expect a response and try several times to connect.

One other thing to remember is that people are getting busier and busier and more and more distracted. Tim Barnes of the Gazelle Network (excellent tuning reminder/calendar software/service) has reported on experience that people don't start getting annoyed until after 17 (!!) reminder contacts. Rather, they appreciate the matter being brought back to the top of their distracted minds.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2778276 11/05/18 01:09 AM
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Keith
I am just a piano owner, but personally my irritation level for tuning reminders would kick into high gear MUCH earlier than 17 reminders. I don’t have an exact number, but somewhere around 5 my blood would start to boil. Did anyone think of just leaving a card at the current tuning: ‘reminder: next piano tuning due ____’ provide a cute business magnet and the reminder card can go on the refrigerator. Just a thought.

I find it difficult to believe that most clients would be happy with 17 reminders..... I suspect clients are irritated much earlier but may not vehemently express it until later. Think about how you would feel with this many reminders from a dental hygienist mad

Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2778310 11/05/18 06:06 AM
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I too, am just a customer. My problem is the absolute reverse- getting my tuner to call me and schedule the tunings!


Currently working towards "Twinkle twinkle little star"
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: dogperson] #2778354 11/05/18 09:49 AM
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Originally Posted by dogperson
Keith
I am just a piano owner, but personally my irritation level for tuning reminders would kick into high gear MUCH earlier than 17 reminders. I don’t have an exact number, but somewhere around 5 my blood would start to boil. Did anyone think of just leaving a card at the current tuning: ‘reminder: next piano tuning due ____’ provide a cute business magnet and the reminder card can go on the refrigerator. Just a thought.

I find it difficult to believe that most clients would be happy with 17 reminders..... I suspect clients are irritated much earlier but may not vehemently express it until later. Think about how you would feel with this many reminders from a dental hygienist mad


I too, am boggled by this number. I'm just reporting it as an empirical, objective data point by someone who has actually grown an extremely successful piano service business -- now with multiple locations and technicians as well as resources available to other technicians. I do believe, however that most -- if not all -- of the contacts were made by email, not phone.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Duaner] #2778390 11/05/18 11:53 AM
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If you want to really lose a customer , try contacting them 17 times.

Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: michaelopolis] #2778401 11/05/18 12:38 PM
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Originally Posted by michaelopolis
If you want to really lose a customer , try contacting them 17 times.


Again, please understand that this was the ultimate number that Tim Barnes found to be "too much".
Also, I do not personally make that kind of contact because I'm busy enough with customers contacting me.

However, don't miss the point...
... which is that he built a successful business on multiple contacts to his customers -- somewhere in the dozen range, IIRC -- before moving them to "inactive".
Whether this many contacts seems "reasonable" or not it's what actually happened with a very successful piano service business. For me, it's counterintuitive, but, like it or not, it really happened.


Keith Akins, RPT
Piano Technologist
USA Distributor for Isaac Cadenza hammers and Profundo Bass Strings
Supporting Piano Owners D-I-Y piano tuning and repair
editor emeritus of Piano Technicians Journal
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Gregor] #2778544 11/05/18 07:18 PM
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Originally Posted by Gregor
I used to call my customers, but that´s frustrating. Often you get the husband who says that his wife (the player) is not at home or you get the kids, saying that the parents are not at home, or you get the answering machine.......

Now i send postcards. Yes, old school analog post cards. No digital texting or mailing. The postcard remains at the pin board for month but an e-mail gets deleted. The effect is that many customers answer to the postcard, but with some month delay. I send that card after 12, 24, 36 and 48 month. If i don´t get an answer after 48 month, i won´t stalk them anymore.


I think I like this approach, Gregor!!! Sounds intriguing enough and simple enough that it just might work for my situation. I'm guessing it works very well for you? The one drawback (which may or maynot be troublesome) is that up here in Canada the Postal Service will not send a thing without a Postal Code and they are sometimes hard to get. --Duane

Last edited by Duaner; 11/05/18 07:22 PM. Reason: addition added

Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."
Re: Calling and texting Customers and NO reply means what? [Re: Ed McMorrow, RPT] #2781046 11/14/18 07:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Ed McMorrow, RPT
Nobody likes rejection, period. But you can't get a yes if you aren't exposed to the chance of getting a no.


I think that Ed has summed it all up in a satisfying concise way.....but I must say I have appreciated this post as it has shown me that in the end we seem to be all in the same boat when it comes to alerting and setting up tuning appointments. For me I wish that I wouldn't have to make one call but I'm not there yet (if I ever will be) so it has been good to get your various yet similar replies. Tks all, Duane.


Duane Graves


"Pushin 70...still haven fun I think..."

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