Responsibility, honesty, and truthfulness bring about repeat business and builds future relationships. But how many have been burned by unethical or unqualified contractors? Or have you ever been hired by an unethical company that didn’t complete their end of the agreement? Many have in either case, and those experiences still hurt. But dealing with a company that takes time with the details, honors their word, does fine, quality work blesses everyone involved.
Business losses pile up and customer satisfaction falls each year from poor quality materials, substituting inferior products secretly, poor execution of the work by unqualified workers, missing deadlines and delaying other parts of a project, or late payment histories. What are we to do? Doing business with ethical companies with integrity, honesty and accountability actually reduces design costs, building costs, installation costs, and time needed to straighten out messes. ABEL Building Systems operates on principles that make customers want to come back for more repeat business. Why? It’s less hassle and costs less.
People want what meets their expectations. What are the expectations?
Buyers want the best products, at the least cost in the quickest amount of time. It’s actually unrealistic. There is a price for the best products. There is a price for expedited delivery, there is a price for exemplary service.
But ABEL Building Systems can deliver customer satisfaction with excellent products at a lower cost. How? By innovation. One time a project customer asked for a 6-camera system to monitor a facility parking lot. ABEL Building Systems was able to supply a superior result with an Avigilon surveillance system at a lower total cost with higher performance because it met the specifications with lower installation costs. The customer was happy and resulted in more business. The trust factor was met.
What about those “cheaper” products? Can you get the same thing at a cheaper price? Rarely. Many purchasing or management personnel shop only by price. If it is exactly the same thing, that’s OK. But the saying: “You get what you pay for.”
But every product sector has products that vary in price. How can proper comparisons be made? There will always be some products less expensive than others. “Cheap” doesn’t have to be “least expensive”.
- Some are the same products, but different quantities
- Some are the same products, but different sizes
- Some are the same products, but different colors
- Some are the same products, but different warranty periods
But if good performance from a system is expected, and mediocre performance from the system is delivered, it’s a problem. If you promise good service, then deliver good service. Keep your word. Don’t promise good service if you plan to give lousy service.
The best policy: “Listen, ask, deliver, follow-up with excellence.”
When you deliver excellence, customers will begin to prefer you!
There may be some contractors or customers that will have a contentious attitude, but always do your best, no matter what.
People expect a good job for their money. They do not expect a bad job. As a contractor, these things cost the customer: Late and incomplete deliveries, broken items in the delivery, incomplete documentation, being late on service calls, and not completing the job being called for.
Should the size of the project determine how well a job is done? ABEL Building Systems believes all jobs awarded to them are treated with the same weight:
- Small jobs – do them well
- Large jobs – do them well
One time, ABEL Building Systems was called to a potential customer who wanted a budget system with high performance without spending premium dollars. The explanation from ABEL Building Systems went that the potential customer couldn’t have it both ways, but explained that a mid-priced system could be affordable and offer some of the desired features.
The potential customer declined and purchased a budget system at a discount store and installed it. The performance and quality of the system way below the expectations, and the potential customer called ABEL back wanting to know what they did wrong in the installation to get such poor results. ABEL patiently again went through what it takes to furnish a system to deliver a quality system that matched their expectations. They again decided not to award ABEL Building Systems any repair work, but ABEL stayed in good relations with that potential customer because they told the truth.
Next month, we’ll talk about what sets you apart from your competition.
Question: What if your established customer asks for something on a new project that you don’t provide? What would you do?
The answer may be found in that old black & white film, Miracle on 34th Street. Do you remember that movie? Macy’s unknowingly hired a man who he believed to be Kris Kringle, himself. The movie takes twists and turns, but one major element was the reaction to customers when “Kris” began referring people to a competitor (Gimbal’s) when Macy’s didn’t have a particular item. The customers in the film were initially astonished at being instructed to patronize the competition. Top management began receiving hundreds of letters from grateful customers, and took them by surprise.
There is credibility in being honest with people. If a person or company cannot deliver what is being asked for, be honest. People will always remember that. The issue isn’t always about the sale. It’s about the reputation. ABEL Building Systems believes that level of honesty drives all the new business their way.
Some companies try bait and switch campaigns to boost sales. Some marketing strategies aim to trick customers to visually show what they think they will get, and end up not getting what they thought they were getting. Bitter taste results.
That old movie truly shows that telling the truth is better. Whether it is a customer telling a vendor / sub-contractor the truth, or a vendor / sub-contractor telling the customer the truth, being open and truthful has rewards.
If you can’t provide what a potential customer needs, or can’t provide a solution to their needs with the inclusion of suitable sub-contract services, a customer would rather be told accurate information than deceptive information.
The more you embrace this philosophy and make it part of the culture at your business, the better your business will perform.