By Amy Skidmore
As I write this, I am in the throes of a contentious dispute with a contractor. Unfortunately, most of us have at least one nightmare story tucked away in our “Why I hate homeownership” files. If you don’t own or haven’t run into any contractor problems, be patient; your time will come.
The biggest issue I’ve faced, beyond having my money in the pocket of someone who hasn’t finished the job, is the frustration of lies and lack of communication. Most people, myself included, have the capacity to be remarkably patient in the face of setbacks … if we’re kept in the loop.
It’s simple: Just. Tell. Me. What’s. Going. On.
In my case, the text messages and phone calls aren’t being returned, and I’ve now moved onto calling lawyer friends and conducting online information searches. Even if my contractor eventually comes through and delivers a perfect final project, I will never, ever, never recommend him. And here’s the thing: Had I been dealing with an insurance agency, I would have bypassed the threats altogether after the second non-returned message and would have simply signed on with another agency. I’d also share negative reviews with my friends and neighbors forever after.
See how easy it is to undo a reputation and destroy a brand? And how simple it would be to preserve it?
Granted, it’s pretty unlikely that you or anyone at your agency is approaching the same level of customer disregard as my contractor, but let my misery serve as a reminder. It always comes back to the Golden Rule — treat others as you’d like to be treated. Remarkably simple. And absolutely vital for customer retention and long-term success.
I have no idea how large your marketing budget is, nor how much time you spend trying to attract new customers, but I can assure you this — if you aren’t Transparent, Truthful and Timely, you might as well save your efforts. For without those three Ts, your brand will never thrive.