Hi It’s Kathy with a K.

One of the number one complaints I hear from everyone I talk to from all walks of life and from all places is about contractors or service people in general and their unreliability.  You can’t get one to return your calls, you can’t get one to give you a quote,  you can’t get one to come to the house, and even if they do all of the above, you can get them to commit to a time frame for the work.  Worst even you have your appointment and then they don’t show.  Sometimes I have been in the situation where I have to hire whomever I can do to the job and it doesn’t always feel good.

I know I have had this happen to myself, on many, many occasions.  As I live outside of Winnipeg many contractors don’t want to go outside Winnipeg—they won’t even talk to you once they know where you live.  I think I may hold the Guinness Book of World Records for the number of contractors or service people who don’t show up or work out.

Sometimes you think to yourself,  “Maybe I should start a business, always show up, and then once everyone knows how reliable I am,  I will be the busiest person in the world and BE RICH!”

I get to see both sides of this issue; from the homeowner, and from the business owner.  This is an ongoing problem for businesses.  (Now I’m not trying to make excuses) but there are number of factors that go on behind the “scenes”, so to say, that cause these problems.  Not unfortunately, easily fixable ones.  When you are in a service industry things happen that can be out of your control entirely, our possibly in your control but you dropped the ball.

Equipment breaks down, vehicles break down.  It’s a fact of life.  Consistent maintenance and a proactive attitude to the maintenance of equipment and vehicles goes a long way in reducing this problem, but does not entirely solve it.

Also employees get sick or have appointments usually with little or no warning.  A good selection program, hiring the appropriate number of staff for the work, employee incentives, good pay, good training and constant interactions and feedback can greatly help reduce this problem but are not enough to completely remove it.

And then there is also the dreaded mistakes in scheduling.  A job goes longer than you anticipated or it should normally take.  A human error occurs where people are not booked correctly, etc.  I hate this one when it happens because it is so easy to correct ahead of time if you are proactive.  There should always be a plan B when things don’t go well. These really shouldn’t happen and luckily they don’t very often.

In business you have to be aware of all the factors than can cause your company to not meet the customer’s expectations and try to solve them ahead of time.  If you know what could happen you can be ready when it does.  We are constantly trying our best to be reliable, dependable and honest with our customers.

As you can see sometimes even good companies can have days when things don’t go according to Plan A or Plan B.  Patience is all that can get anyone through.

A good company will try to make up for any problems they have caused and work with the customer to solve problems.  We may not be perfect all the time but we are sure aiming to be.

Just because misery loves company share with me your horror stories about contractors and service folks.