In advance of the holiday weekend, I had some landscape work done at my house. It involved placing decorative rock chips in adjacent areas separated by a wooden divider. On one half were red rocks, on the other black. When I looked at the finished job and saw errant red rocks in the black rock area, I called the contractor and asked what was unclear about my request to have only red rocks on one side and only black on the other side. His response was “Seriously, Dude, it’s close enough.”
I have several problems with his reply. First, I am too old to be called “Dude” – that should be reserved for his contemporaries. Second, there is an implied respect for the customer which is violated by using such a personal phrase. ‘Dude’ is something that should be spoken at the 110th Harley Davidson Birthday Bash (which was held here in Milwaukee this past weekend), not in a professional setting.
The most glaring issue was the lack of concern to follow through on the job that was committed to. I (the customer) clearly presented my expectations and agreed to the price that was proposed by the Duder (the contractor). If he didn’t intend on fully delivering on his promise to do the landscape work, it would have served us both better if he never started. The customer has a right to get what he requested and the contractor has the obligation to deliver what he agreed to.
This translates directly into any business. If we are not fully engaged in delivering what we promised, then we should get out of the way. Poor customer service is not acceptable. Most days we are on both sides of this equation – buying goods and services so that we can add value and resell them to a customer. If we treat each other with that respect from the beginning of a deal on through the close, we all will be much better off.