Handling Customer Relations
A reader writes: “I really do not appreciate your attitude towards customers and property managers. You seem to imply that we are all trying to squeeze the contractors when actually all we are doing is holding them to their word as in the specifications. Your response?”
I am certainly not suggesting that all property managers are the same since each one is different. The customer is the customer and pays for all the expenses related to the account, both direct and indirect. One very wise man stated that you (the customer) can have any level of service you are willing to pay for.
I am first to admit that it only takes one poorly performing BSC (Building Service Contractor) to lose the trust and confidence of a customer. This can lead to micromanaging and poor customer relations. One of my best customer’s entire specifications was “keep our facility clean at all times for our employees and guests.” They paid well and it was a pleasure to provide them with outstanding service for many years. We had a clear understanding of the tasks and frequencies that were necessary to fulfill those specifications and worked very hard to satisfy their needs and exceed their expectations.
I also had property managers who wasted a lot of time complaining about perceived complaints with no clear documentation. It appeared that they felt they had to not only be in control (which they were) but also find any reason for a deduction to drive down the price. Unfortunately, they did not seem to understand the time wasted on these side issues came out of our bottom line and profit margins.
And yes, on occasion, I would retune the account and submit a request for an increase to cover this lost time without stating the obvious. If they did not accept the increase, then it freed me up to service my other accounts and find better paying customers. On occasion, they would call me back after a few months to “give me another chance.” As a professional, I always responded that I would be glad to return at usually a higher price to deal with what I called the “hassle factor.” Of course, I could not have this conversation with the customer and in many cases, they did not get it.
You, the customer, are the reason we exist. We appreciate you, your business and your input. Let’s find win/win outcomes that result in a clean, safe account at the best price on the market.
Your comments and feedback are always appreciated. I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, keep it clean…
Mickey Crowe has been involved in the industry for over 35 years. He is a trainer, speaker and consultant. You can reach Mickey at 678-314-2171 or CTCG50@comcast.net.