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Romney’s Not The Only One Who Likes To Fire People

posted on 1/26/2012

By Lisa Ridgely, Deputy Editor of Contracting Profits

In the run-up to the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, Mitt Romney made headlines with this quote: “I like being able to fire people who provide services to me.” In context, he was referring to individuals having choice when it comes to health insurance providers.

While his opponents seized the opportunity to take the phrase out of context for political attacks, I couldn’t help but wonder how that resonated with building service contractors. After all, any business that provides a service is subject to the at-will consumerism Romney was referring to — and service providers in the cleaning industry definitely know it first-hand.

Customers who are not happy with services will gladly and expeditiously move on from one provider to the next. I think all BSCs want to be the one that customers can turn to when they are not satisfied with their current contractor and are seeking a higher quality of service. But they have also all probably been on the other end, dealing with a situation that, for any number of reasons, has resulted in an unhappy customer who wants to move on. While it is disappointing for a customer relationship to end, it is like any other relationship in that, if it’s not healthy or mutually beneficial, a parting of ways can be for the best.

On the flip side, some BSCs have found great value in exercising their right to fire customers when things aren’t working out.

Check out this cover story from 2011 for more BSC perspective on why being choosy about customers can go a long way toward building a loyal client base and preventing customers from firing a contractor down the line. 

BSCs know that Romney is not alone in his affinity for dismissing those who provide unsatisfactory service; the true challenge is to communicate well enough with customers to know when they’re not happy, and to address it as soon as possible — because, in the end, no one wants to be fired.