A thief in my business stole over $25,000. The worst part was that I never saw it coming.
Before Service Excellence Training, I was a minority owner in a start-up heating and air-conditioning, and plumbing business. In the early days I wore a lot of hats. One of my responsibilities was to make outside sales.
In 2009, I sold a system to a very friendly lady. During the sale, and during the install, she was pleasant, and nice. But after the sale, things got odd.
About a month after the install, she asked for a huge portion of her money back. She asked for about 45% of her money back. Her request was based on our “Value Match” guarantee.
As a company, we went out of our way to provide a great value when it came to the install. This value was represented in written guarantees and warranties; and in written install procedures that ensured a proper install.
A month after the install, the customer presented me with a competitor’s proposal that had matched word-for-word every value point on our proposal.
Before we go forward, I’m not mad that a client used our value match guarantee. That wasn’t the issue. I believe in the value match guarantee. The issue, was that something just did not seem right.
As I stated, she gave a proposal that was matched word-for-word, but there were suspicious differences.
In the end, she got the 45% refund she requested. She kept our install, and took our money. I personally wrote out the check, and hand delivered it to her office.
I asked her to sit down with me, and have a cup of coffee. The whole situation just didn’t sit right with me, and I needed to get down to the real issue. Did we fail her? Did we do something wrong? I had to know!
So, I asked her. Her answer stunned me.
The customer told me this in a moment of guilty confession,
You might be looking for a satisfying end to this story. Like a scene out of Dick Tracy where I get the bad guy. That would have been great, but no.
Apparently, the lady alerted the installer. He took off before I ever saw him again.
Of course, we alerted the authorities. But by the time they went looking for him, he had already fled town.
This was a painful experience for me. I was hurt, angry, and vengeful. I wanted the thief to pay!
Thankfully, I had a mentor that reminded me that negative emotions are not productive.
Here’s what the experience taught me:
A proactive business is a successful business. That's why our team takes the time to make sure every client has a proactive, not reactive, business plan. Our strategies make your business run more smoothly and profitable.
Our training services help businesses identify and achieve their key performance indicators (KPIs). Whether it's increased revenue or higher satisfaction rates, our methods allow you to see immediate and continued results.
Our team of experts works hard to make sure your business gets personalized training. We'll work with your team one-on-one or in group settings to set and achieve your business goals. We develop training based on your goals!
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