Good morning, Steve,
Even though I own my own carpet cleaning business I have also been building my own house and contracting it out myself. The people I am coming across are astounding! These “professional” businesses and contractors have absolutely no customer service. After having attended Strategies for Success I now consider myself a customer service expert. But I have to say that being a SFS graduate is proving to be a mixed blessing!
I run my business with Value Added Service as my primary objective above all else. Being as stupid as I apparently am, I assumed other businesses would have the same mentality. WRONG! These guy’s customer service skills are marginal in some instances and non-existent in most!
So I blame SFS for my mental state right now as I am picking apart every business person I deal with! I am ready to crack some skulls with some of my subs! I am living proof that someone will pay more to not have to prepare to do battle to get a job done right. (Or in some cases at all.) Maybe I should open a new business- actually giveing great Value Added Service as a building contractor! What to do- what to do? Sigh!
Anyway, my thanks to you, Steve, along with Bill and Chuck and everyone at SFS for teaching me to give the best customer service possible. Now if I can only forget about what customer service SHOULD be long enough to build this house I don’t think there will be a need to have to do anyone serious bodily harm :~)
Just Venting in Atlanta
You realize I warned you about this, Venting. Customer service absolutely stinks in almost any industry -always has- always will! It’s just that now you recognize it and you realize that it doesn’t HAVE to be that way! To a certain degree we create “monsters” out of our SFS members simply because we increase their expectations of what a any commercial transaction should be.
But here’s the silver lining, my friend. Every business transaction can now be a “field trip” out into the real world … to learn from the mistakes of others. In other words you should be constantly gauging your business and tactics against the business that is supposedly “serving” you.
Now as you are “suffering” you can be analyzing their service delivery systems … or the lack of them. Then as a mental exercise ask yourself, “What would I do if I owned this business?” (Besides shoot the employees or commit suicide!) After awhile it becomes sort of fun in a masochistic way!
NOTE: I am not promoting the idea that you open a new contracting business. While there is no doubt the average builder could benefit enormously from Value Added Service concepts (and this site) most business expansions into a new industry are an unmitigated disaster!
Hang in there!
P.S. Seriously, most of these construction folks aren’t evil people, Venting, set on destroying your life. (Even though it may appear that way!) Most are “technicians” who went into business for themselves but are still focused on the production of the work instead of service, scheduling, management, finances, etc. (Sounds like some carpet cleaners I know!) In other words they are drowning and don’t know it. And they are usually stretched very thin because it is a competitive business and they bid too little and then scramble … yup, sounds like a LOT of carpet cleaners out there. Learn from all of them on what NOT to do!