lack of customer servicepost by Stephanie Nelson

As you may remember from my post a few weeks ago, SBN Marketing moved. As happens with most moves, some help was needed afterward. We needed a lot of help – handymen, landscapers, a fencing guy, an upholstery cleaner, a cleaning lady, an electrician, etc. Being a small business owner myself, and having a clientele of small local businesses, I pretty much insisted on using small local businesses for all of these services.

I found something extremely interesting in dealing with these vendors over the last month, though. Not ONE showed up on time. And not one bothered to call to tell me he or she was running late. And when I say “running late,” I don’t mean 15 or 30 minutes. I mean three to seven hours. A couple just no-showed altogether. As you can probably gather by the image used in this post, I was not a happy camper after waiting – and wasting – all that time. (And yes, I do imagine that is close to what I looked like when I called some of these vendors.)

The prevalence of this behavior has me asking: When did this become OK? And HOW did this become OK? Are clients so easy to come by for some businesses that completely disrespecting someone’s time is acceptable? Is it a matter of taking clients for granted or something else? And as the client, should one ask for a discount or some manner of compensation as a make-good?

I can honestly say that if I treated any of my clients or potential clients like this, I would probably crawl in a hole and die of embarrassment¬†because there’s no way I’d do it on purpose. I’d die of embarrassment just from running late, but I can guarantee I’d call the absolute second I realized I’d be late.

I can also guarantee that if anyone representing SBN Marketing treated a client or potential client this way, they’d no longer be representing SBN Marketing.

So please tell me: Am I the only one who’s experienced this? Is this the new way of doing business? And if this is your way of doing business, for the love of Pete, WHY?