This post has been prompted by some kitchen remediation work we´ve had done recently at our house. A while ago, one of the contractors who was fixing the siding put a nail through our kitchen pipe, which in turn resulted in a major leak and mold growth. Since we are leasing through a landlord, we had him contact a company to come out and fix the mold.
The work has been done; now we are waiting to make sure the entire mold problem has been removed. Our experience with the company has been quite interesting, and I thought that I would share some insight into paying attention to details when you own a business.
When the workers were here, they were very accommodating. They were polite, thoroughly explained what they would be doing, and got to work right on time, which I thought was fantastic.
The manager called several times to make sure that everything had started on schedule and had gone okay. He wanted to know if we were satisfied. He even offered to put us up in a hotel room if the smell of the glue that they had used was too overpowering, as we don´t have much ventilation in our small condo.
That night we went out to dinner, since, of course, we have no kitchen in which to cook. When we returned several hours later, and at least four hours after the workers had left for the day, my neighbor came down with our cat in her hands. "I found him wandering around," she laughed.
Sometimes he escapes right under our feet without us noticing, so we figured that this is what happened. Then a while later, my husband realized that the screen door leading out to our patio had been left open. The workers, upon stacking our cabinet doors and drawers onto our porch, had forgotten to shut the patio door. Not only did our cat escape, but their mistake left us wide open for someone to come by and snatch whatever they wanted from our unit.
So while the company had done all they could to ensure our comfort and satisfaction with the job that was done, that one mistake is what stuck in our minds for the rest of the evening, reminding me of just how important it is to pay attention to the details. That one mistake is also what we relayed to several friends and family members; and so if these people were potential customers before, they might have changed their minds after, even though we weren´t complaining but just stating a fact.
Sometimes we are tired and /or we just get so involved in what we are doing that we don´t follow through on what we normally would follow through on. We wake up on the wrong side of the bed, our kids drive us crazy, the traffic is bad, and when we arrive at our job we are overwhelmed and burned out before we even get started.
If you need to, create a checklist that you can follow for each job. This not only gives you a guide as you go through the motions, but it also covers your if a customer comes back and wants to know why this or that was not done. If you have it in writing that it was done, you have something to fall back on.
Also, at times when we complete the same job day in and day out, we stop thinking about what we are doing and we follow along on a repetitive motion, which can lead us to forget something. It´s just like driving the same route to work each day. The first few times we notice everything, and then after a while we notice nothing. A checklist will help you notice each item as though you were seeing it for the first time.
Remember, you can do everything right, but just one little mistake is often what the customer will remember.