Episode 19 – WE CRUSHED IT!!! (We Got Fired Part 3 of 3)

We totally crushed it guys!!!  We were given the chance to go back and do the work, and I have to say we showed up in a way that impressed all of us.

We showed up about 15 minutes early and sat and had a meeting about how to handle this job, what to say/not say to the customer, and how to act considering the situation.  I rang the doorbell at exactly 9:00 and met with the husband.  I had a smile on my face the entire time, and shook his hand firmly and maintained eye-contact to show him I was engaged.  Dealing with customers is one of my strongest suits.  I’m a people-person, I can feel peoples’ energies and I can read people very well.  I wanted him to be reasured that the Master Electrician was onsite now, and everything would go smooth.

We walked the house and he showed me everything that he wanted done, including a few “extras” that he’d like taken care of.  I assured him that everything would be done that he needed done and that there was no schedule we were adhering to.

After we got to work, the homeowner walked around from room to room watching us intently.  There were very few times that we were not being watched, which is fine.  We know what we’re doing, so watching us is never a problem.  I took this as an opportunity rather than a pain.  I started asking him where he worked, where he was from, where they were thinking of moving (they were doing this work to sell their house), and got him laughing.  I answered any questions he had, and did the work in the exact order he asked me to do it in.  He had dogs that needed to be ushered around depending on where we were working.  By the end of it, we had made him laugh and had talked about our lives so much that he knew a lot about us…enough that he let down his guard and realized we’re all really good dudes that just had a bad day on the first visit.

He offered to send us a care package because, funny enough, he works for a company that makes electrical tape, wirenuts, connectors, etc.  Once we finished up we thouroughly cleaned up and took the trash with us.  The wife came up to me with a checkbook and offered to pay us.  I told her “no way, I told you it would be free so it’s free” but she demanded that since we really showed up and did a stellar job that she’d like to give us something.  She proposed that we split the cost evenly.  She said figure out what you would have charged me and we can split it.  After refuting it, I finally caved and told her $400 is half (less than half, but I wanted to give her more than she was giving me) so she agreed and wrote us a check for $400!

Totally a win man…I’m soooo glad that we pulled that out, and I’m glad that we handled it exactly how we did.  I am truly glad that this happened the way it did.  We needed something to keep us grounded and show us our weak spots.  We learned a valuable lesson that we will never forget on this one, and I think it will only make us a better/stronger company going forward.

 

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Episode 18 – WE WERE REHIRED!!! (We Got Fired Part 2 of 3)

WE WERE REHIRED!!!  I got a call-back from that customer that fired us and she thought it was extremely reasonable to give us a shot after offering to do all of the work for free.  I don’t think there are many companies out there that would have even offered this as an option.

I had the chance to talk to her for about 30 minutes and we talked through everything.  I apologized heavily for dropping the ball on this job, and guaranteed that I would be there personally to do the work, and that I’d have the same two guys there with me so we could push through this together as a learning lesson.  I told her that what happened on the first visit was not common for us, and that she’d be very happy with us if we were allowed to show up like we normally do.  All for free!

She accepted the offer, and I told her to name a time and place and we’d be there.  She asked if we could do it at 9:00 am Sunday, and I said we’ll be there.

Well…here’s hoping that this makes an impact!

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Episode 17 – WE GOT FIRED!!! (Part 1 of 3)

In this episode WE GET FIRED from a job! I talk about what happened, and how we lost the business, and what my plan is to gain it back.

This job should have been a dead-ringer. The customer was a referral from someone else in their neighborhood, we had a killer conversation when we spoke to schedule the work, and we closed the business…all we had to do was show up and kill them with kindness.

Well, we scheduled the job in the morning after another “quick” job which ended up not being so quick. This made the boys late. That’s usually never an issue, we’ve called customers before and gave them a head’s up that we were going to be a little late because of another job running long. There’s rarely an issue with this.

Well on this particular day the customer had taken the day off to be home so we could get all of the work done in one day. We didn’t know this. When they arrived they went over all of the work with the customer and it was a lot more work than we anticipated, so they asked if it was ok to split the work over two days…they we’re very unhappy with this question…rightly so. In addition, the customer tried telling my guys about a weird issue they were having with their ADT security system acting up when they turned on some local switches near the alarm display panels. That’s a bit odd, ADT security systems are all low voltage except for a 120v plug usually located in the attic. Other than that they’re separate from the rest of the electrical system. My guy knew this and suggested that they didn’t have anything to do with another, which was very quickly perceived as arguing by the customer. My guy called me and asked if I could stop what I was doing and come out there and help to make sure it gets done in one day and help iron out the issue.

On top of it, my guys didn’t have a chance to eat lunch and it was lunchtime so they got onsite and right away said they were going to go grab some lunch and come back….big NO-NO after being an hour late already.

So…she calls me. She says that she’s disappointed that I’m not there personally to do the work. She hired me, not my guys and she thought it strange that I would send other guys to do work for me. I explained that is how electrical, plumbing, hvac, etc companies work. A Master Electrician has several guys that work for him, and everybody does the work. I explained I can’t be at every job, I take the jobs that require more experience with troubleshooting electrical problems, and let my guys do installs. She explained that she didn’t feel that my guys were qualified or knowledgeable enough to be unsupervised and asked what their experience levels were. I answered honestly, but the customer wasn’t happy, so she said that after everything she wants to go with another company.

WE GOT FIRED!!!

I’ve been doing this nearly a decade and I’ve never been fired, nor had a bad customer experience. This hit me hard. I reacted fast by calling my guys and telling them to pack up and meet me at the shop. When they got there they had tucked tails and seemed both pissed off and dissapointed. They were also extremely confused as to what happened so fast. I bought them both lunch and sat them down and talked about everything. I explained that this was my fault for not having all of the right information about the job, and for throwing them into a situation without knowing the details. I explained that I’m not upset with them, but that how they interact with customers goes a long way. It can make or break our business. I explained that their experience level is obvious, and that they need to try to project confidence and humility when talking to customers and not argue; rather just take note of their issues and say “we’ll look into it.” Sometimes speaking less is better.

After lunch we bro-hugged, and I sent them to another job. I went over to the customers’ house to apologize in person, but they weren’t home. I called but got no answer, so I left a voicemail apologizing and telling them this is not the norm. I offered to do all of the electrical work for free if they would allow us the chance to show them what we’re really like. Hopefully they call back and give us a shot!

Please let me know what you think, or share your story if this has happened to you.

If you enjoy these episodes please click SUBSCRIBE and LIKE our videos!  Also check out our podcast on iTunes and Stitcher! (<<<—click the links to teleport directly there!)

 

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