Useless, Ridiculous, and Frustrating

About a year ago I had my carpets and upholstery cleaned.  I thought I was getting a "deal" when really all I got was a hassle. When the technicians arrived they did everything to up sell extras and didn't honor my original quoted price.   Needless to say the whole experience was a disaster and a royal waste of my time.  If someone tells you that you're getting a "deal", it's usually too good to be true.

I'm sure you've had a similar experience.

uselessYou know the drill.  The cable company schedules to come see you and gives you a 4-hour window in which they will show up, and they don't.  You spend your whole day rearranging your schedule for others.  Or perhaps you go to see the doctor and are waiting for hours because he/she is behind.  If you don't show, you pay, but the doctor doesn't pay for missing your scheduled time.

What all of these hassles boil down to are time and money.

Time is money and money is time.  Here are some guideposts I've used that help me sift through the useless, ridiculous, and frustrating.  

1.  Anyone who has to sell you on more stuff doesn't get the value of relationships. Remember the ambulance chasing lawyer?  Run away from anyone who has to sell you or "needs you".  That's classic bottom feeding, low value work.  Today's job isn't to sell.  It's to deliver.  Plain and simple.  The people you hire need to execute because delivery is what gets you the second sale or project.  Run from up-sellers.  They don't want your relationship.  They want money.  

2.  It doesn't matter what the good or service, pick good people.  Do your research.  Use technology and more importantly your valued network of resource to guide you to find the right people who can help.  I remember when I fired Comcast cable.  After repeated non performance, spotty service and 7 service appointments in 8 weeks, I boxed up the equipment, stood in line and turned it in.   You see before AT&T and Dish, Comcast had a corner on a regulated market so the culture of their people was to maintain the status quo and when questioned, make excuses.  People and companies who make excuses and defend the status quo are, well, ridiculous.  These folks don't last long.  Is there any surprise that Comcast is struggling for market share?

3.  Think long and hard about value.  What's the value for the product or service you're getting?  Is the value proposition clear?  If it isn't, walk away.  There are too many choices out there today to keep progressing down a non value added path.

The bottom line is everything comes down to relationships.

It's who chooses you and more importantly who you choose.

When you're busy and have a life to live, a job to do, and a family perhaps to feed, the last thing you need is someone trying to take more of your money and time.

I received a phone call this evening from the same carpet service company who came to my home last year. The gentleman expressed to me how sorry the company was, acknowledged the problems of the past, discussed his new management team and his commitment to earning my business back.  He offered to come clean my carpets next week at no charge.  The even more amazing thing is they've called me 8 times in the past 2 months to get a hold of me and today was the day.  The tenacity and genuine respect to "earn" my business back is what convinced me to give them a second try.  We shall see.

What are some of your learnings?  How do you cope with the useless, ridiculous, and frustrating?

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