Web Hosting Resource Kit – Editor’s Opinion 15/2004
I hope everyone survived the Turkey Day and Black Friday madness. We had plenty of turkey and sweet potatoes. My black Friday shopping was done online – that was it. You won’t get me into a store on the Friday after Thanksgiving. We actually had our house painted. First it was snowing this morning, but then the skies cleared up and things started drying up. By 11.00 it was warm enough for the painters to start. They did the whole body of the house. The trim still has to be done though.
Why am I telling you about this at all? We signed the contract with the contractor in early November. Our neighbor across the street had hired them and referred us.We got really good pricing because of end of season timing. The contractor made the impression that he wanted to do the 2 house at the same time and save some money and time by having two work places right next to each other. It would make sense – all the equipment is in place and the crew could combine the power-washing and other work for both house. They started a week later on the neighbors house but not on ours. Oh, well – no big deal. It took them a while to get all the other work done before they started with our house. This week they called and wanted to come out Monday to power-wash the house and to start painting on Tuesday. They did not show up Monday. Then they were supposed to show up on Tuesday at noon. They arrived 2 hours late. Then they wanted to start painting on Wednesday. They did not show up and called at 3.00 PM that the daylight would now soon disappear and the temperatures would drop. But they would come out early on Thanksgiving day with 2 crews and do the whole house in one day (they would have been done by 2.00 PM and everyone could have enjoyed Thanksgiving afterwards). They did not show up. I called at 11.00 AM and left a voicemail. They (the crew leader) finally called us at 1.00 PM to let us know that they would come today.
I told them to keep an eye on the weather forecast. Rain and snow for the next 5 – 6 days.
The business owner called 30 minutes later to see if had received the other call. I was mad. We were waiting all day, we had lost 2.5 days in the week already due to them not showing up and now bad weather in the forecast for almost one week. He tried to excuse his crew and that he could not decide for them. I told him that he would not get any referrals from me and my wife. I mentioned that several were interested in a good house painter and that I could no longer recommend him. That statement seemed to trigger something. I think he realized that the word of mouth advertising could reverse here. Our neighborhood is covenant controlled and all the house here in our area were due for a paint job next year. So, quite some business opportunities – that now could disappear. He finally started apologizing a little bit.
Anyway – we’re half way through with the completion of the job now. Still – this experience just shows that bad business management can backfire pretty fast. Keep up a high level of customer service and make sure you please your customers – especially when being a service provider.
Until next time ….