As Business Owners, What Good Are Promises if We Don’t Keep Them?
As the owner of an IT service company who has been in this business for many years, I’ve always believed that customer service is at the very core of what we do. Anybody can sell you IT – but if you don’t have a relationship behind it that you can put every last ounce of your faith in, do you really have anything at all?
I was reminded of all this recently when I engaged with a service provider to do a little work on my behalf – not in the IT space, but in terms of home remodeling. I’m handy to a certain extent, but the gap between “I know my way around a hammer” and “I can properly resurface the cabinets in my bathroom” is a deep one, indeed.
I did my due diligence and found a local provider who quickly said all the right things and made all the right promises. I thought “great -I’ve finally got that cabinet resurfacing problem taken care of.”
The last amount of joy I felt in this experience was when I hung up the phone after booking the job. From that moment on, it was all downhill.
How Not to Run a Business
Saying that there were issues from the start of this project would actually be a polite understatement.
This job would take a total of six days and the contractor was late every day. Five of those six days, they forgot something and had to go back for it – thus delaying the start an inappropriately long time.
Even when they finished, my problems weren’t over.
My cabinets looked great, but during the course of their work they’d stained the floor with the finish they were using on the cabinets. They also knocked the toilet paper holder off of its mount.
I contacted the owner and again, he made all the right promises. “I’m going to come to your house next Friday and make things right,”he said. “Don’t worry about it – I’ve got this.”
“Next Friday” rolls around and a polite lady I’ve never met shows up and says she’s here to clean my floor. She says nothing about the toilet paper holder. I called up the owner again and said “Hey, where are you? I thought you said you’d be here.”
With total sincerity, he said to me “I’m at a home show… I didn’t say that I personally would be there.”
No, I will not tell you his name… as much as I’d really like to.
The point is, I don’t really know anything about resurfacing cabinets. Recognizing that, I enlisted the help of someone who did. Again, my cabinets legitimately look great – but the “business” behind that “service” that I was provided left more than a little to be desired.
At the end of the project, all I was left with were stained floors and frustrations.
Those are both things I could have easily accomplished myself and I would have spent a lot less money in the process.
The Power of the Promise
I understand that how I felt when working with that local contractor is how people feel when they engage with an IT provider. You know how to run your business – but you don’t necessarily know the ins and outs of IT. That’s what LAN Masters is for.
But if all we do is leave you with a “solution” that solves one problem and creates five new ones, we’ve failed to do our job. Period.
We can’t just “meet” our promise, either. We need to go above and beyond. Anybody who knows me knows that I’m a Vegan, but I still respect that time Morton’s literally met a customer at the Newark Airport with a porterhouse steak, even though the customer had only made the request as a joke. Or the time that an individual advisor at LV went the extra mile for a customer who had recently lost a number of precious items in a fire.
For my money, any business owner (no matter the industry they’re in) needs to live up to what they say they’re going to do at a minimum. My contractor technically did that. But he certainly didn’t show up when it really counted (literally, I might add).
It’s important to live up to the promises you’ve made. But going above and beyond is how you create a relationship that can stand the test of time.
At LAN Masters, we build relationships with our customers by meeting your needs and exceeding your expectations every time we have the opportunity to do so.
It’s Your Move
If your business is need of an IT support company and you're looking for a group of people who are going to keep up their end of the promise, feel free to contact us for more information.
Mike Della Pia is the President of LAN Masters, Inc., an Orlando IT support company that has been helping small businesses stop focusing on IT and getting back to doing business the past 15 years. Connect with Mike on LinkedIn.