Cutting Small Corners Can Destroy A Business
This morning, once again, I cursed my electrician.
I do this often, because he placed my kitchen can lights where they shine on the back of my head rather than my counter tops. But when I really steam is when I have to change a light bulb.
The can lights weren’t cheap – they were supposed to be “top of the line,” in fact. But getting them loose to change a light bulb is a major production, and it makes a big mess.
And every time I have to do it, I’m reminded of the corners he cut to save what probably didn’t amount to $50 on a several thousand dollar electrical job. You see, these can lights have an inside sleeve, and that sleeve is held in place by 4 metal clips. Or, it is supposed to be held by 4 metal clips.
Our electrician saved time and money by installing only 2 clips per light. And that means the two clips aren’t supported as they should be, and they fall out. Today, as I used electrical tape to hold my fixture together because the clips are long gone, I thought about the few dollars he saved and what it cost him.
If anyone asks me about electricians – which they do, because my husband is a retired home builder – I tell them to steer clear of the one we used. How many $8,000 jobs has he lost because he saved perhaps an hour of labor by not installing all 4 clips on those can lights?
And how many other jobs has he lost because he no doubt has cut the same corners in other people’s homes? We talk about people who serve us well, but by the laws of human nature, we talk even more about the ones who have “done us wrong.”
I have the same feeling about the man who built my kitchen cabinets. They looked fine, but after we lived here a few short months, some of the cabinet doors were loose. Upon inspection, I found that where a hinge called for 2 screws, he had used but one. I had to go to the hardware store, buy the screws, and install them myself.
How many dollars did he save by leaving 2 screws out of each cabinet door in my kitchen? And how much did that kind of corner-cutting cost him in terms of good will and future business? You know what I say when people ask me about cabinet builders.
And of course these two men aren’t the only ones. We see examples all the time of places where someone cut corners in spots they thought the customer wouldn’t notice – or at least wouldn’t notice until they’d been paid.
Business people should be looking for ways to give just a bit extra – to leave a lasting impression of good will with every customer.
Finding ways to give not quite what was promised leaves its own lasting impression – and it is one that can eventually destroy a business.
If this has happened to you – chime in and tell your story. Or, if you’ve found great ways to give just a little extra to your customers, tell us about it!