31 August 2012
When to Cut Ties with a Service Provider
I recently learned a valuable lesson in my young tenure as a business owner and the lesson is one that I feel translates into the world of both business owners and customers. You see, an often overlooked aspect of business is that customers may forget, or fail to consider, that businesses themselves also have to hire companies to provide them with a service. When I put myself in the shoes of the customer and then consider that point, that companies have to deal with customer service as well, from those shoes I can’t help but think that service companies should excel even further in customer service because they not only have to provide it, but they also have to endure it. That perspective should be enough for companies to experience both sides and one would think that within that realm, there are many lessons to be learned. When trying to provide junk removal Indianapolis can trust, the proverbial rack of which we hang our hat is customer service.
Here is an example. For the past five months, I hired and have worked with what I believed to be the best company in this company’s particular field. However, I didn’t follow my own rules! Rather than get testimonials, perform my due diligence, I put on my blinders and hired the company based on only 1 checklist item. I had ranked that one item higher than others because I saw it had the quickest and most affordable path to help both our business and our bottom line. Looking back, I’d like to blame it on the fact that we were still such a young company on a shoestring budget, but I still should have applied my own rules that I advise others to take. As I result, I didn’t necessarily pay the price, but I learned another valuable lesson about customer service.
You see, the company I hired made all these promises and set all these lofty goals, which undoubtedly, got me excited as well. The timeline for those goals came and went and when I questioned why we didn’t accomplish those goals and I was left with nothing but excuses and a lapse in memory by the service provider. They claimed to not remember making those promises and told me my expectations were unrealistic. I was only setting my expectations based on what their sales rep had promised… I should have known better. I was told, “just give us a little more time and you will be happy.” After another couple months of unanswered emails, dodgy answers to legitimate questions and failure by the company to produce and financial return on our investment, I knew it was time to part ways.
While this company had at least set a foundation for us to build on, they had not delivered on what they initially promised. Rather than take responsibility they instead told me that I must have misunderstood them. I would have been okay if they just would have come clean and said, “We were excited and may have set our goals to high, but here is what we are sure we can do and it will truly benefit you.” That kind of honesty would have been refreshing but instead pride got in the way. More unanswered emails and a complete lack of communication let me know it was time to move on, which we did.
However, I will take that lesson with me. Be honest with your customers. Don’t promise something if you aren’t sure you can deliver. Always be accessible when your customer has a question, regardless of how big or small their budget is. Each customer is equally important and can either be a fan of your team or an opponent. When providing junk hauling Indianapolis can trust, in order to be the best, you must always be improving. Provide an unparalleled work ethic and treat each customer as though they were conducting a job interview and you have a solid foundation for which you can continue providing and improving upon your customer service.