Clearly, as you read these blogs you will find that I am far from a professional writer.
Sad, very sad.
The good news is I have learned to be a professional righter. I am not an expert. Experts stop learning, and I hope to some day die saying I never stopped learning. (Hopefully, the dying part takes quite a while)
According to Dictionary.com:
righter [rahy-ter]nouna person who rights or redresses:a righter of wrongs.
We all make mistakes. I make mistakes. My dealership makes mistakes. The banks I deal with makes mistakes. The upfitters I use make mistakes. The manufacturers make mistakes. You get the point.
Own it and move on. This isn’t even a debate about whether the customer (another term I do not use, but in this example it works) is always right or not. It is a matter of honesty and integrity.
The key to this is patience and persistence. If you are not a patient person, working with work trucks and the clients we take care of is NOT for you. Our transactions take longer, and the products we produce take longer to receive. So, as they say in the military hurry up and wait. The rewards are more satisfy and our clients appreciate it. They reward us with relationships that last decades, instead of hours. We are in the relationship business. Not here to sell a truck and move on.
So, my suggestion is to track the problem back to the source and fix it right. Do not fix a problem be creating another problem. So, sometimes fixing it takes extra time and patience. (its almost like there is a theme in this post) If you fix the problem the right way then there will not be a snowballing avalanche of problems to follow.
For example, we received a quote from a vendor. They missed that the van we were building had sliding doors on both sides of the van. This is not a common option that we select from the factory. Once the van was in the shop it was clear to the upfitter that the mounting rails would not fit to install the shelving we had ordered. They called us in a panic. We asked for options that will not look ridiculous and not cost the client any shelving space. They ran two plausible scenarios by us. We called the client and told them the issues, and gave the client both options. The client couldn’t believe we were calling. Not because that there was a problem, but he couldn’t believe that we were calling to give him solutions! He picked the solution that we thought he would, but now he proactively knows, and there will not be any surprises.
Clients want someone who will be proactive, and communicate. Those communications need to be honest and understandable. It completely baffles me when people are surprised that I am telling them problems and that I have solutions. Apparently too often there are people who assume they can just deliver a product with alterations and it’s “no big deal,” or better yet, “now it’s their problem.
I prefer to make clients for life.
Thank you for taking the time to read this blog post. If you have more specific questions feel free to contact me. I will do my best to help direct you on the right path.