Promises, Promises, Promises

by Compass Cleaning Solutions • November 16, 2016
Good work aint cheap and cheap work ain't goog
Politicians do it as second nature. Husbands, wives and kids do it. Employees do it. But, why do companies make promises they can’t (or never intend to) keep? It would be easy for me to tell every new potential client that we don’t make mistakes and that all their expectations will be met each and every time we interact. But I know, and they know, that those are just words and are basically meaningless. Everyone makes mistakes, things happen, life gets in the way and we end up not meeting those expectations. To believe otherwise is irrational.


So, in the interest of being totally honest, why don’t we just say, if we make a mistake or don’t meet your expectations, we will fix it. Isn’t that being realistic and honest? And in our business (commercial janitorial services), we can’t control what happens in the lives of our staff or what they might find in a building, so why should we even try. We control what we can and do the best with the rest.


If our staff makes a mistake or does something really stupid, is it a reflection on the company or just that person? On one level the answer is both. The individual must take responsibility but they also work for us and we as a company must be responsible. When the mistake happens, how do we respond and what do we do? Do we pretend it never happened or do we attack it as fast as we can? Are we honest as we try to find out what happened. I’ve always said there are two sides to every story and we need to get all the facts before we start throwing people under the bus. Once we have the facts, we can determine what our next step should be. As we work through the process, we try to communicate what our action plan is and what we are doing to fix the problem. What really drives me crazy is when I am asked by a client, ‘why did you let this happen’…like I can control other people.


Our goal for today, and every day, should be to fix our problems more completely, more quickly and with less hassle to our client, than other companies who don’t even attempt to fix their problems or only do the minimum. We should never want to pretend that everything is wonderful and we have absolute control over every situation. We don’t, we never will, so why pretend? Here is a new standard we should all adopt: “We will be honest, we will have integrity, and we will fix our problems”. And, if we can’t fix the problem, we will let you, the client, know and offer alternative solutions. Personal responsibility will go a long way toward building a quality, even unique, client relationship.

That’s not just good customer service, its a quality customer experience.