What to Expect from Your Fire Protection Company!
Far too often we receive calls from potential clients wanting us to take over their Fire Protection account due to other companies’ inability to provide quality customer service, detailed reports, clear communication, and honest service. Today I’ll briefly go over what to expect from your Fire Protection Company when they come in to service Portable Extinguishers, Kitchen Systems, Fixed Fire Systems, etc. You’ll see these expectations broken up in short paragraphs below, along with the major points standing out in bold lettering.
Fire Protection Companies come into your Business on a yearly, and sometimes monthly basis. As we all know, Fire Protection equipment must be serviced by a Certified Technician annually to stay within Local, State, and Federal Regulations. This means that they should start by creating a meaningful relationship with you as a friend and client, annual and monthly service doesn’t just mean popping in unannounced on a random workday. It means that a relationship must be created so that you, as a client, can feel free to pick up the phone and call at anytime with questions or concerns. You should expect your Fire Protection company to keep in touch on a Monthly or Quarterly basis, along with being available at anytime (within reason) to answer your phone call or email.
*** Side Note: Always check to see if your Fire Protection Company is a member of the National Fire Protection Association and the National Association of Fire Equipment Distributors. We’re Members at IGH and we find it very beneficial for continuing education and keeping up with the latest trends in the Fire Industry ***
The biggest complaint received from Clients that come from large, national company “they like to show up unannounced and leave an invoice without telling anyone what was done.” Ouch, that’s an easy fix if you ask me. At the beginning of each month, we call all of our clients, let them know that service is due, what is to be done, and schedule appropriately. Showing up unannounced is a big red flag and proves that you’re just a number. That should never be done in any scenario, industry, or life in general. You should expect your Fire Protection company to call and schedule service along with explaining what will be accomplished well before they show up at your door.
The second part to the most common complaint is lack of communication and explanation of the invoice. Another easy fix, that shouldn’t be a problem in the first place. When all service is complete, and all Fire Extinguishers, Kitchen Systems, and Fixed Systems are back in service, an itemized “rough draft” invoice should be presented to you in person explaining what was done, the cost associated with each item or service, and all questions should be answered before a final Invoice is sent and paid. It’s important to know where your money is going, you should expect your Fire Protection company to provide an itemized invoice and thorough explanations of services completed to create an honest and transparent relationship.
The last one that bothers me the most, coming from a background in the Fire Service, is the lack of Education and Training provided to better equip your business and employees incase of a Fire Emergency. I hit on it briefly in the paragraphs above, but most people have very little knowledge in Fire Protection equipment, and you’d be surprised how many people don’t know how to operate a Fire Extinguisher even though they pay thousands of dollars on a yearly basis for Fire Protection services. It’s inexcusable, our “job” goes way past preparing the equipment, it doesn’t take much to go the extra mile to educate clients, it may be the difference between life and death for them one day. You should expect your Fire Protection company to provide on-site education as needed during their service calls, along with providing low-cost training to prepare you and your employees.
These four major expectations are just the start of how your Fire Protection company should treat you as a client and a friend. All Fire Protection companies should strive for excellence in every aspect, this Industry isn’t just about Revenue, it’s about protecting the community and serving others with honesty and compassion.
As always, if you need us, we’ll be here.
Brent Bousquet – Co-Founder, President