I talked with a young guy the other day who called about our coaching service. His company was upside down and I could tell he was hurting.
He made a comment that told me a lot about why he was having financial problems. He said, “I always treat my customers fairly. I go the extra mile to be sure they won’t ever get mad at me or think I didn’t do a good job for them.”
I admire his intent. But he painted himself into the same corner so many do in the rush to “be fair”. My advice is remove that term from your vocabulary. What does it mean?
In my opinion, you are fair with your customers when you do the work specified on your contract in a good and workmanlike manner. When you carry out your agreement without cutting corners or leaving things out that are rightfully due the customer, you have been fair.
But many contractors think the only way to be fair is to make sure the customer is totally satisfied, which usually means doing work above and beyond the contract. It’s the desire to show that you will do more than they expect, more than they ask for.
Unfortunately, time and money spent going beyond the contract will come directly out of your pocket, and will seldom produce additional business or referrals from that customer.
Do everything you have agreed to do, then move on to the next customer. That’s fair.