I had to take my minivan to a mechanic because the air conditioner had a leak in it that let the freon out. I took it in last week and he diagnosed it and we scheduled for this week. There was an evaporator tube that needed replacing. So I thought it was going to take a day and I called around 4 to see how it was doing, and he told me that they needed another part and they went out and got the part but it was for a different vehicle, so they could get to it first thing tomorrow morning. So today I called them around 4 because I had not heard back yet, and he said that they had to send a guy to Kansas City to get the right part because no one in town had it. They would get it to me before the weekend and call me back around 6.
I really like this mechanic, I have had good dealings with them in the past and I trusted them. They did not overcharge me and I was treated fairly, but this time around was really different. I usually did not run into any problems and I was starting to think they might be under new management because I did not see the guy who I usually saw when I went there and I did not usually run into any problems.
Well, I went and picked up my van at 6 and the girl at the counter charged me a fair price, and the mechanic came out to talk to me just because he wanted to see my reaction. Then another mechanic came out to tell me that it was his dad that drove to Kansas City for the part. And I thanked them profusely for getting my van back to me before the weekend. I think I am going to keep them.
I like to study businesses because I want to do business well. And I think their mistake was in managing expectations. If they had told me it would take 2 days, but it was done in one day, I would have been thrilled to get it a day early, but since I expected one day and got two. It caused me to lose trust in them a little. I began wondering if they would overcharge me for the time or for the part. I worried about if I would get it before the weekend or if maybe it would take another week.
I have done that before, I have poorly managed expectations before and now I am learning that when I give a work estimate, I usually double the time, (but I don’t double the cost, I still give it to them at accurate cost. But it gives me freedom to handle the unknown and it makes clients happier.
Something I learned about myself this week is that I love processes. Before when I would get a question about do you like processes or do you like trying new things and experimenting a lot, I would always answer the experimenting question. But this week, I changed. Quizzes are so overly simplistic, they never get me right. I think it is possible to love processes and love experimenting. But if it is something that is new for me, or has a lot of steps, or involves a lot of people. I like researching to get the process right, and then fixing our mistakes, and once you get it down, I get upset with people when they throw it all away because we had it so good and we were doing it so well. I am developing a process right now for blog articles, I’m trying to make some side money with affiliate marketing, and I’m not very good at it yet. So I am developing my process so I won’t have to think so hard. My articles will have a hook (and I’ve made a list of hooks to choose from) then it will talk about the pain points (problems) someone is experiencing, then it will go into solutions to solve the problem probably containing an affiliate link, then a story to connect with the audience. And finally a call to action. That will be my process, and as I get better, I will be able to add things that work well and take away things that are not working.
Giving a double estimate to a client is a process thing that builds trust. That is how we get better and I like it because it makes me not have to think so hard all the time and allows me to save my thinking for other things.