B U S I N E S S MATTERS
THOUGHTS AND OBSERVATIONS FROM THE
And Keeping Promises
I sPen T mos T of one recent Friday at a longtime PEI distributor’s office. PEI was there to conduct an all-day installer recertification course for 14 of his technicians. Just as the instructor was getting started, the owner leaned over to ask if one of his most experienced guys could skip out of the class a couple of hours early.
Turns out that he wasn’t looking to
cut corners—in fact, just the opposite.
He had promised a customer that one
of their service techs would make it
by “that week.” Unfortunately, as is
often the case, the week hadn’t gone as
planned. Weather, sickness and even
PEI’s visit had disrupted their schedul-
ing. Now, here it was, Friday morn-
ing—and they still had not gotten out
to see that customer.
lling his technician out of the
is owner made absolutely the
cision. PEI’s class might have
mportant; but keeping a promise
to a customer was even more impor-
General Manager, PEI
Managing Editor, PEI Journal
tant. The owner has worked hard to
build a business that is known for being utterly dependable—and he wasn’t
about to let a valued customer down
on that Friday.
A promise made is always a promise
kept. When this company says they
will be there, they want customers to
expect—and to KNOW—that they
will be. From there, a wonderful
domino effect just naturally follows.
Dependability builds trust. Trust builds
loyalty. Loyalty leads to repeat business.
And repeat business leads to a stable
and profitable business.
While some promises (e.g., dependability) ought to be shared by every
PEI member, others are derived from
a company’s business strategy. Some
distributors, for example, seek a competitive advantage with branches that
provide wide geographic coverage.
For others, it’s 24/7 service; expertise
on particular product lines; deep
inventory; or lower prices than the
next guy. Choose your own strategy.
Just know that the direction you select
will create a whole set of promises on
which you must deliver.
Another set of promises flows out
of your “business personality.” If you
want to be known as a friendly group,
how do you answer the phone and
interact with customers on the jobsite?
If you want to be known for your
thoroughness, do you follow up after
completing a job to make sure the
customer is satisfied?
Keeping promises also is central
to building a strong brand. In fact,
the visuals most often identified with
a company’s brand—logos, slogans,
colors, even the look and feel of your
website—at best play only a support
role. Much more important in the
brand-building process is the degree
to which you deliver on the commitments you make.
What promises are you making
to your customers? And, even more
important, are you keeping them?
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