You’re Known by the Company You Keep

I heard this phrase from my mom and dad growing up and I’ve used it with my children. Fairly or unfairly, people form opinions about us based on who we choose to associate with.

This also holds true from a business perspective.  Regular readers know that my husband and I recently sold our home and moved into a condo.  I absolutely love loft warehouse condos with their high ceilings and exposed brick walls.  My husband … not so much!  So we compromised.  We found a wonderful condo, still within walking distance of all the many amenities downtown Winnipeg has to offer, and we decided to add a stone feature wall.

We shopped around until we found just the right look.  The entire experience was very positive until it was time for the install date to be confirmed.  After approving the quote and putting the deposit down, we had to wait almost three weeks for the contractor to call to arrange an install date.

The company we bought the stone from partners with contractors for install jobs.  The store did everything right. The sales person on the floor was friendly, helpful and knowledgeable, answering all of our questions. Nicole arranged for the installer to come by for the initial measure and she provided the quote within the promised time frame.  She then made several call and emails on our behalf when the installer was too busy for a five minute phone call to coordinate an install date.

Eventually we are going to upgrade the countertops in the two bathrooms and the kitchen and replace the tile backsplash in the kitchen. When we do, we will go elsewhere.  That store lost a return visitor, not because they did anything wrong, but because they associated their business with a contractor that doesn’t value the customer.

Partnering with other companies that provide complimentary services is a wonderful idea. It streamlines the process for your customers.  We liked the fact that we didn’t have to look for both the product and then the contractor separately.   Hotels create packages so that one transaction provides a hotel room, entrance passes to local attractions and perhaps even a meal or two.

These are time savers that busy consumers appreciate and I encourage you to explore ways to add value to your offering, but when you do, be sure that your partners are as committed to the customer service experience as you are.  If they fall down on the job, it reflects on you as well.

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