Over the years, we've had to deal with countless suppliers and trades on the customer end. We've also had our own run-ins when dealing with issues with our own clients. The lesson has always been to make sure the last impression is a good one. Yes, some clients are more demanding than others, which is why setting expectation is crucial but where we really see a divide in customer service, is how errors or disappointments are handled. When we mess up, we fix it. Even if it's at our expense. Even if it costs us a good portion of the profit made on a job. It's just part of doing business. We set a standard for ourselves and we expect the same from our suppliers. We've gone through dozens of contractors, hundreds of retailers and sales reps and the ones who we work with today are the ones who have always provided us with good service and who have always owned their mistakes.
"A satisfied customer is the best business strategy of all."
Article recently pulled through on an issue I had with my own couch, where after 9 months of using it, they offered to replace it. This obviously comes with a big loss for them but it's worth them being able to save the client who will ultimately refer them. The sofa I ordered from Article started to look very frumpy and although I was fluffing the cushions regularly, the back cushions shrunk down to half their size and we were able to feel the frame through the seat. The customer service rep assured me that they had only had this complaint once before and offered to replace the sofa. Within 7 business days from the interaction, a professional delivery service came to take back my sofa and leave us a new one.
We have so many stories like this where retailers, suppliers and trades have impressed us by offering solutions and it's their positive attitudes that have kept us as clients. However, it takes one bad mistake to leave a sour taste in our mouths and it's the same for all customers. We've refused to work with so many stores because they haven't had good customer service. Of course, we'd like to consider ourselves reasonable, but when you're waiting on a product for six months only to be told that it's finally been discontinued, it's hard for us to risk having that happen again. Or when a contractor takes twice as long to complete a project for 30% more than what was agreed upon, how can we possibly refer them ever again? The companies we choose to do business with will reflect on our own service, even if we are totally separate, even if it's stated in our agreement that we cannot take responsibility for mistakes made by our referrals. It's still something that we have to be super careful about and conscious of when choosing to specify a product or refer trades.
We're happy to have reached a place where we're finally content with the suppliers and trades we use. We've been able to filter through the bad ones and we feel confident when offering a service or a product. To set the right expectations, if ever we offer something new, it always comes with an honest disclaimer and if ever we're giving a trade
a secondshot, it also comes with a disclaimer. It's an added service to our clients for them to rest assured that their project will run smoothly and if it doesn't, we luckily work with awesome individuals and companies who will take ownership and do everything in their power to fix any hiccups along the way.