Good service, bad service

My wife & I use a lawn service. They come once a week to mow and weed. And the last two weeks, they haven’t really done a very good job. But we figured, hey, it’s spring and demand is up. Today we found out why our service isn’t as good. Our “contract” was sold from our chosen vendor to another, like a bank selling your mortgage to another lender. And the thing is, nobody told us. We found out when the bill came. What a way to announce a change! by sending a bill in a different amount on a different letterhead.

Here’s what could have happened:

Greg, our old service guy, could have stopped by the house and said, “Hey, my business is booming. I have so much in fact that I’m having a hard time keeping up and delivering a quality product. So I’ve partnered with a company to do your weekly lawn care and I’ll still do your landscaping work in the spring and fall. I’m sure you’re gonna love the new guys. Here’s my card. Call me if you have any questions or problems. Most of all we want you to be satisfied."

Then the new guy could stop by the house a day or two later and say, “Hey, as Greg told you, I’m gonna be doing your lawn care. I think you’re going to be happy with the work that we do but if you have any problems, please call me. Here’s my card. Most of all we want you to be satisfied.”

What did happen?

Please remit $35 dollars before May 15.

Compare this to your customer interactions, after the sale and particularly after an acquisition. We’re looking for a new service. What will your customers do?

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson

Steve Johnson was a founding instructor at Pragmatic Institute, a role he held for more than 15 years before he left to start Under10 Playbook. In his return to Pragmatic Institute, Steve supports the complete learning path for product teams, ensuring they are fully armed for success. 

Over the course of his career, Steve has helped thousands of companies and tens of thousands of product professionals implement product management processes. He has worked in the high-tech arena since 1981, rising through the ranks from product manager to chief marketing officer. Steve has experience in technical, sales and marketing management positions at companies that specialize in both hardware and software. In addition, he is an author, speaker and advisor on product strategy and product management.

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