What is quality and how do you get it? When it comes to products and services, I see quality as a factor of value received for monies given. When I receive quality in a product, it is because it met and/or exceeded my expectations. When I receive quality in service it is because I felt good about what was done and how it was carried out.
Quality Products and Quality Service need to go “Hand in Hand”, for if either one is not delivered to the job, the final impression of the client will not be up to expectation. Impressions are feelings and feelings will rarely go away. The old adage of “People may not remember what you said or did, but they will remember how you made them feel”, is alive and well in the business world today. One bad experience is all a business needs with a client these days before your competition is invited in.
An essential part of providing this quality experience to your clients is planning ahead so that when you are on the job there are few surprises and compromises. Both of which can deplete your profit rapidly and undermine the confidence you want to create with your client. Remember a satisfied client will recommend you to friends and others. There is no better advertizing than that, no matter how much you spend.
When you have to create a work-around on the job, it is rare that it takes less time and creates a better outcome, than what was originally specified. Many times, you the contractor, has to absorb the extra labor and materials, just to honor the original contract. Going to the client with extra cost that they were not prepared for during the job, creates an impression of not knowing what you are doing or worse underbidding to get the job and bumping it up later. The “Bait and Switch” routine may get you more money to cover the job cost, but not the next job for that client. A happy client will tell a friend, an unhappy client will tell 10 others and sometimes anyone who will listen. With the internet, word gets around rapidly.
When we first started our business in 2004, we were told by the Lutron Representative at the time, Jay Baumer, that the reason most of the Lighting Control System installations failed to produce a profit for the contractor was what happened in the last 10% of the job, where things had to work and the absence of proper Project Documentation cause excessive man-hours troubleshooting low voltage wiring, line voltage wiring, improper product specification and zone identification for programming. All of which can be avoided with a well documented layout of the system.
While it can be difficult to quantify these gray areas of job profit loss without precise job costing disciplines, there can be no doubt that when a job runs smoothly , profit can be made and a happy client results.
Quality Image: ProfPost