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A Re-Visit to Customer Service, Quality and Price

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I wrote this blog post quite some time ago, but it stands true today as much as it ever did.

Over the years we have seen our competition lower their price over and over and over again. At what point does that not only negate the value of the product, but the industry? How do we respond, by lowering our price? No, we continue delivering first in class products at a great price.

I recently had a colleague doing a bridal show and in a last ditch effort, the competition at the show crossed out and changed their prices with a sharpie. Yes, I’m not kidding, they took a sharpie and scribbled out the price and changed it to be lower. To me, that is a sign of desperation and poor business. I understand that clients go to bridal and event shows to get a good deal, but at what cost? If the vendor is resorting to undercutting the competition the day of, what else will they do? Don’t leave it to chance!

You may ask why I even made a post about this. Simple, we sell customer service and along with that we deliver amazing products and great prices. Are we the cheapest on the block, no. Are we the most expensive, no. Let me ask you this… When you are in the process of planning an event, is your goal to save $1? What are you sacrificing by saving $1? You are probably sacrificing customer service, product quality and cleanliness as well as a litany of headaches. As we all know, there are costs to running a business. Especially costs associated with doing it correctly. We have proven time and time again that we can save our clients money, but they are not sacrificing anything for that.

Statistically, 86% of buyers justify paying more for a great customer experience. We treat all of our clients the same way, with respect.

So as you venture out to plan your event, take everything into consideration and not just the price. Here are just a few things to be on the lookout for.

  • Will the vendor give you the time you need to meet with them?
    • These decisions are important and cannot be made in a rush.
    • If the vendor is rushing you out the door, you might not be that important to them.
    • Will the vendor meet with you a second time if needed? Some only give you 30-60 minutes and that’s it.
  • Are you getting quick responses to your calls and emails?
    • While we are not just waiting around for your call, we understand that your time is just as important as our time.
    • You will always get a call or email back from us the same day, typically within the hour.
  • Will the vendor give you a quote in writing to take with you?
    • Yes, i know that there are people that shop around and that’s OK.
    • We want to allow you to compare apples to apples.
    • Not having a quote might lead to comparing apples to hammers.
    • Many won’t give you a written quote as they believe you will take that to their competitors for a better deal.
    • We have no problem emailing you or printing your proposal right in our showroom. We will not give you something that is handwritten and clear as mud.
    • We know our clients will use us for the quality of service we provide, even if it is a little more money.
  • Is the vendor flexible with your counts?
    • Most vendors have a hard line with a 10% adjustment with no flexibility at all.
    • Our contracts state that you can adjust 10% up or down, but we are flexible. We know that you may have anticipated 200 people and your final counts came in at 170. We are not going to charge you for 10 people that were not coming. Most will and they don’t care. They will tell you that you signed a contract and that’s that.
    • Now, if you reserved an event for 200 people and came back with only needing for 100, then we need to discuss it. We may have been able to reserve some of those items that were placed on hold for your event.
  • Will the vendor be flexible the day of the event?
    • We know the day of your event you have a lot going on and no time to deal with things that are completely out of your control.
    • We understand that some events run over a little bit, maybe 30 minutes. So our staff will gladly wait outside the room until the party ends.
    • I have heard of vendors charging their clients more money the night of because their staff had to wait more than 15 minutes. Granted, there is a reasonable amount of time that should be understood. But 15 minutes? To me, that is someone out to nickle and dime you all the way. Remember when I asked what you are sacrificing by saving $1? This is it!
  • When the time comes to return your order (If it was not installed or torn down by the vendor), will you have problems?
    • All of our contracts state that the rentals have to be returned the Monday following the event. If they were shipped to the location, they need to be shipped back the Monday following the event.
    • Things happen and this does not always happen the way we plan. There are some weeks that things do not get returned until Tuesday. Could we charge for a late return, yes. Would we charge for a late return, no!
    • I have heard horror stories from clients telling me that they did not get their items returned by an exact time and got charged a ridiculous amount because of it. This tells the client that they are not important to you, just a means of payment.
    • This is another example of what happens when you try to save $1.

To sum it all up, just do your homework and take advice from someone who has been in the event business for over 30 years. When you are planning that 200 person event and you can save $200 for something cheaper, does it make sense? In the grand scheme of the event and all the costs involved, go with the company that is going to provide you with the customer service you deserve!

 

We look forward to working with you on your next event,

 

Lyle Brous
President/CEO
Fabulous Events, Inc.

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