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  • The Storyteller

Bike Hero vs Seronic Aircon: Different Ways of Asking for Payment

The other morning, I requested for the servicing of my 18 year-old bicycle. It is a very convenient service where the freelance technicians – known as Bike Heroes – will come to your home for the necessary works, on their bicycles.

I chatted with my Bike Hero, Peter, a 60-plus-year-old gentleman who is a bike enthusiast himself (he owns 6 different types of bicycle!) while he changed the chain, pump up the wheels and checked the pressure and brakes. Once he was done, I asked if I should transfer money directly to him or the company. Peter informed that I would be receiving an invoice from the company by end of the day.

Later that afternoon, I received a text from the office employee, Diana, asking me if my bicycle was fine now and whether I was satisfied with the service. Well, if I was before, I am even more so now. It is just so decently nice to ask and show interest to your customers! When I replied to say that I was happy with what Peter had done for my bicycle, Diana replied:

“Thank you for the positive feedback, Ms. (name). In that case, we will be sending the invoice to your email address. Thank you for choosing Bike Heroes. Happy Riding!”

Wow, the company put my interest first before collecting payment. At least, that was how I was made to feel. Smart move! Furthermore, I totally appreciate their personalized message of appreciation, including the positive and upbeat closing.

Service Bank for Bike Hero: 💖

Contrast this with Seronic Engineering– with whom we have a yearly contract to provide quarterly servicing for air conditioning units at home. After waiting several days’ for them to revert with additional cost of pipe replacement and subsequently, the scheduling of the necessary works, all was completed on Thursday - shortly after a week.

I requested for an invoice from the woman handling the administrative works, and was informed matter-of-factly, “If you want an invoice, there will be a 8% GST.” I explained that I needed to show something to the landlord for the partial reimbursement, and she simply repeated that there would be a further charge for invoice issuance. I then suggested for her to send me a text message for the works and total cost, which I could then forward on to the landlord. She did so promptly and I thanked her for it.

Come Monday – a mere 1.5 days later excluding the weekend, I received the following text message from this individual, word-for-word:

“Hi (name without salutation), we have not received payment from you for the repair work that was done on 1/6/23. Would appreciate it if prompt payment can be made.”

First-name basis? I am not your friend. Passive-aggressive and reprimanding tone? Definitely sounds so. Not even a thank-you at the end? I am sorry, but you definitely don’t sound like someone who has an appreciative nature.

Sadly, such non-customer-centric attitude is not all that uncommon. Perhaps I should introduce this person to Diana of Bike Heroes so that she can pick up service etiquette and best practices.

Service Bank for Seronic Aircon: Minus 1

Reflective thoughts: How does your business seek or ask for payment from the customers? Is it more similar to Bike Hero’s or Seronic Aircon’s method?

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