We write a lot about how field service businesses can create an amazing experience for their customers. What businesses can do before they even make a sale to build trust with prospects and what they can do to retain those customers long term. Field service businesses need to continuously gain new customers and keep their existing customers coming back year after year.
The fact of the matter is that there are field service businesses out there that take the exact opposite route. The swindlers, the connivers, the used car salesmen of the field services industries do their best to cut corners for the sake of making an extra buck. They don’t worry about what might happen if they’re outed as a cheat and they don’t care if they receive a few negative Google or Yelp reviews. Here are five things that shady field service professionals do to cheat their customers, otherwise known as five things you should NEVER do!
Bait and switch
The classic bait and switch move can come in a couple of different forms. Most of the time when it comes to field service businesses, you’ll see this happen when a company creates a “special offer” for new or existing customers. They’ll offer a service at a certain price and then when they charge the customer, they are slapped with extra charges and fees.
A bait and switch will lose you customers, but it will also spurn negative reviews of your company online, but also through your unhappy customers' personal network.
Another thing that field service professionals do to cheat their customers is to displace blame for their own mistakes. If something goes wrong because of their personal doing, they’ll blame someone else. This happens with irrigation professionals blaming faulty parts or a landscaper blaming another contractor that might have been working in the same space. Displacing blame makes you look unprofessional and if a mistake truly was your fault, you owe it to your customer to make it right.
Under delivering on what was promised
Some field service professionals cheat their customers by not delivering on what was agreed upon. This might occur in a setting in which the business bids their jobs as a flat rate job. They might just perform a passable job so that the customer doesn’t know any better for the near future. But when they find out, it will inevitably blow up in their face.
Using different parts than what was agreed upon
Many field service businesses could hypothetically use the cheapest parts and get away with it. At least for a while. But that doesn’t mean you should. Even if your customers request a part that you know is similar in comparison, do the work that you agreed upon.
If you show up late to jobs and don’t give notice, you’re cheating your customers out of their valuable time. If you and your crews don’t make it out to jobs on time consistently, you’re taking time away that they could’ve used otherwise. If you commit to a time and fail to deliver on your services within that time frame, you’ve effectively wasted their time and proved to your customer that you don’t value them enough to schedule your days well.
Intentionally delaying fixing a problem
Some field service businesses cheat their customers by dragging their feet on purpose when a problem is brought to their attention. Some do this simply because they don't want to spend the time and resources on resolving an issue, some will minimize their customer's perception of the situation and others just don't care.