Posted October 31, 2017
(Photo: InsightFuel team and material loaded and heading to job site.)
For me, when I eat at a restaurant, the waitress or waiter is the restaurant. The fella that takes care of all of my lawn care needs is the lawn care company. And the garden center where I buy my trees and shrubs is the grower of the trees and shrubs that I bought. If something goes poorly with my meal because of the service, the restaurant could fall off my approved list. If my grass gets burned out because the technician set the equipment incorrectly, I may be looking for a new lawn care company. If the trees and shrubs die because they were of poor quality or diseased, I’m likely buying my shrubbery elsewhere.
So here’s my point… The quality and delivery of the materials you provide to your customer must meet the expectations of that customer. The quality and timeliness of the work done by the subcontractors you hire must meet the customer’s expectations. The people who are employees of your company and who are making direct contact with your customers must meet the expectations of the customer.
As an aside, please note my use of the phrase “meet the customer’s expectations” instead of “exceed the customer’s expectations”. Of course I want my customers to be thrilled. Through speaking with our customers about their experiences with suppliers and contractors, I have found that they tend to set their expectations high in comparison to what they will accept. So, meeting those expectations means I am not pricing my product or service higher than what my customer is willing to pay, and my customer is thrilled because their expectation was met. Okay, back to my point.
Here are 4 ways to stay on your customer’s preferred supplier list:
1. Use the grade of materials that meet the industry requirements from a specification standpoint, have a proven track record of long term performance, and allow for the safest, easiest and most economical installation and service.
2. Select contractors based on value, not price. If a contractor can do the work in less time, thereby allowing the duration of the project to be shorter, it may be worth paying a premium. If the work the contractor performs is error-free, preventing delays and cost due to rework, it may be worth paying a premium. When the contractor you hire treats your customer like their customer, it may be worth paying a premium.
3. Give your preferred contractors all the projects you can. This ensures consistent quality throughout the project and reduces your time and costs associated with selecting and managing multiple contractors.
4. Train your employees to treat your business, and your customers, like this is their business and these are their customers. That starts with the hiring process, continues through the training process, extends in to the employee development and growth processes, and on in to the fair and equitable treatment of your employees.
InsightFuel has a proven history of meeting customer expectations. Plus, we are the folks that can take on a whole lot of the project and that removes worry from our customer’s minds. The material we provide is top-notch and the specialized job-site equipment and expertise is unparalleled. Any subcontractors or suppliers we bring to the project are part of our team. And our employees are just flat out fantastic.