Extra Mile Writing

Extra Mile Writing

How to get Better Service From Businesses

hairdresser curling woman's hair

1. Do Your Homework

Before you engage a business, do some research.  If you know other people who’ve used their services, talk to them.  Look at their website and any other information they provide.

Most importantly though, speak to them and ask questions.  This gives you a good feel for the person or people you’ll be working with. 

This is critical because if they aren’t willing to listen to you and to be helpful with information at this point, then most certainly they won’t be likely to do either once you engage them.

2. Stay Away From Large Corporates

not in service sign

Avoid large corporates that treat you like a number (or a nothing) if you possibly can. 

Instead, use small businesses that are run and operated by real people who live in your local area, and who actually want a testimonial from you after providing you with a good service.

3. Be an Awesome Customer

thank you in wood blocks

The old saying, “Treat other people like you want to be treated,” is one of the truest ever spoken.

If you treat small business people like you want to be treated, they will give you the very best service.

Because of course, no relationship is just one way.  If you’re honest with small business people, respect their time and treat them fairly, you’ve got a much better chance of getting great service in return.

I’ll give you an example.

I know a small business person who had recently opened a new business.  He’d also had a stressful week with a family emergency taking place that was completely outside of his control.  A neighbour, who was aware of the stressful events of the week, waltzed over to his place mid-morning on a Saturday morning and asked him for a quote on a job at his place.  Because this person had failed to show any consideration for the small business person at all, he was given a ridiculously high quote precisely so that he wouldn’t accept it.  The neighbour of course then walked away without someone to get his job done.

On the other hand, another neighbour approached this small business person to provide a quote on a job during business hours.  This neighbour was courteous and happy for the small business person to look at the job and then provide a quote later that week.  A quote was provided and the job commenced.  The same week that the job commenced, the small business person had an unexpected emergency, this time with a close friend.  The neighbour happened to ring when this had unfolded, and quickly communicated that there was no pressure to complete the job as a result of resources that needed to be diverted to handle the emergency.  The small business person completed the job the following week anyway, but the fact that the customer treated him with consideration at all times and appreciated that he was a human being just like everyone else made all the difference. 

4. Communicate

man talking while driving car

This is of course important in all aspects of life, and we all fail at it at least occasionally. 

Essentially, being clear and specific about the outcome you want and the time frame you are working with allows the business you are working with to help you achieve that specific outcome within your deadline.

5. Ask

ask sign

This one is closely related to the point above, but it deserves its own category because it’s often missed.

If you need to achieve a particular result that may be unique or unusual, ask businesses for their thoughts on how things could be done so that you get that result.  You’ll be tapping into the small business person’s knowledge and ideas base, and you’ll benefit from other people’s thoughts on your project.  Small business people like to clearly understand what a client is looking for up front, and they also like to be asked for their thoughts on innovative projects.  And if they can’t help you, they’ll try and refer you to another small business that might be able to.    

© Annemaree Jensen