© Kevin Tietz | Dreamstime

No matter how careful your crews are, accidents happen. When you damage a customer’s property, the best way to manage it is by getting out in front, says Tom Hougnon, president and chief operating officer of Reliable Property Services.

The company, which has locations in Iowa, Wisconsin and Minnesota, has a system in place to let customers know as soon as possible if there’s any damage to their property during a storm.

Whoever does the damage reports the incident to their supervisors. That information then gets relayed to a call center which will alert the sales team to call the client and explain what happened. Crews are equipped with tablets and cellphones so that they can take photos of the damage to send to the customer or anyone working on repairs.

“We feel it’s important to be the one giving them the news not them getting the news elsewhere as much as possible,” Hougnon says.

We feel it’s important to be the one giving them the news not them getting the news elsewhere as much as possible.” Tom Hougnon, president and COO of Reliable Property Services

Reliable tries to get properties back to normal, or as close to normal as possible as soon as possible.

For example, if a plow knocks over a stop sign, the company will just go ahead and install a new one. Or if a light pole goes down, they will call an electrician to fix the problem.

If Reliable can’t fix a problem right away, like replacing a tree, they will document it and handle when they’re able.

Then, at the end of each season, they give each customer a damage report. Crews even take photos and videos of properties before and after the snow season.

“We try to be as upfront with the customer as we can when we make a mistake or have damage at the property. That’s pretty key to us, he says.”

Reliable tries to alert customers of any damage in 30 to 45 minutes, even if it’s an email in the middle of the night. The note will include what happened, what to expect on the property and what Reliable plans to do to take of the issue.

For the rest of this article on lawnandlandscape.com, check out bit.ly/propertydamage.

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