That’s just the name of the company

Those of you who have reached well into middle age or are comedy geeks will have spotted that the title of this post is a Monty Python reference – but more of that later…

I really wish that I had the practical gene, you know, the one that allows you to be a DIY god, to transform your home at a fraction of the cost and to the envy of all men like me – but I don’t!

For anything more than changing a lightbulb or building an Ikea flat-pack piece of furniture I need a skilled person – to do it for me – I am perfectly happy with that – my skills lie elsewhere (at least that’s my story!).

Now I don’t think I’m alone in not having this gene, and increasingly it seems that I’m in the vast majority – well judging by the level of response when posting on ratedpeople.com (other websites for sourcing skilled tradespeople are available) anyway.  Sadly the work was outside the skills of my mate Handy Andy who has done lots of other stuff to my home – brilliantly I have to say – hence the need for my alternative approach!  Unfortunately, either the work I need undertaking is too piecemeal or these skilled individuals have become overly blase about meeting customers’ needs!

‘Cos let me tell you I’m not a happy bunny…

Today is the 6th November.  I posted a job on 17th August and got one response – but he seemed knowledgeable and keen so excellent. However, almost 4 months down the line and all I’ve got is a hole next to my garage and a lot of unanswered texts.. The most recent communication I’ve received from him was on the 11th of October.  The phrase “can’t be arsed” comes to mind.

If I had another alternative (bad grammar I know) I’d tell him to forget it – but I need the work done and as I said he was the only person to respond.

I wonder if I should start blaming the government for shafting the economy (look it’s still shite, whatever they try and tell you) which has dramatically reduced the number of house sales and turned the focus on spending money on your existing home and trying to make that better instead.  The logic here being that this upsurge in maintenance etc will have reduced the availability of these skilled individuals – supply and demand and all that jazz!

But there’s more to it than that – of course there is.

Is the man too busy to respond?  Has he lost his mobile phone?  Or does he just not give a ****?

I simply do not know – all I can do is highlight the time period, the lack of communication and what this makes me conclude and how that makes me feel. This feels less like rated people’s slogan – “Tradesmen at your Fingertips‎” and more like a tradesman has “slipped through my fingertips”!

The really important thing here is about setting and managing expectations – this has all the hallmarks of that excellent Monty Python sketch about the dry-cleaning service.  Irritatingly I’m unable to find it using good ‘ol Google but it featured a segment where the “customer” in a dry cleaners called “1 hour dry cleaning” asks why his dry cleaning isn’t ready yet and the shop owner responds – “That’s just the name of the company”….you get my drift??

This is from Quora as written by Eric Siu, who works at Single Grain, a digital marketing agency:

If you’re in a service business, your job is to retain your clients for as long as possible. That means doing the best job that you can and meeting their needs. But it also means meeting your own needs so that a long-term arrangement is beneficial to everyone involved.

He’s not wrong! He’s just set out the positive side of setting and meeting expectations with your customers – it’s when there’s a mismatch that things go wrong.


My current situation makes me want to add a review – right now – before he’s really even started on the job itself.  But what would that achieve?  Well if he bothers to check the rated people site he could see that I really was rather p*ssed off (but he should have realised that anyway) and I’m fairly confident that I be whistling for it if I thought he’d complete the job itself!!  That said it might be of assistance to someone else who thinks that this individual might help them solve their problems – DIY wise!

Online reviews are increasingly important – especially on sites such as ratedpeople – it’s in the very name of the site ffs – “Rated” people!!

Consider the following from an article by Andrew Thomas on inc.com:

  1. When customers are unhappy, there’s a 91 percent chance they won’t do business with a company again (Lee Resources).

  2. Dissatisfied customers typically tell nine to 15 other people about their experience; some tell 20 or more (White House Office of Consumer Affairs).

  3. A negative customer experience is the reason 86 percent of consumers quit doing business with a company (Customer Experience Impact Report).

  4. Good customer experiences lead 42 percent of consumers to purchase again (Zendesk Customer Service Study).

It’s even worse – he goes on to state that it can take 40 positive reviews to get over 1 bad review, he calls it the Secret Ratio – something that, as a service provider, you’d better learn it fast!

So, dude, get your communication sh*t together – pronto!!

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