How First Impressions can Make or Break a Business

Small business owners who impress their customers by providing end-results are more likely to get more business. Unfortunately, it’s also vice-versa. Showing results even before engaging in a contract can also make or break a business.

Our team scheduled a meet to get a quote from an IT provider on setting up our new office. We’ve agreed on a three o’clock onsite meeting one day on the following week. Prior to this, we had shortlisted some probable providers and got in touch with three companies to look for a perfect fit for our needs. We think that this IT provider is ‘the one.’

Researching, creating a shortlist, and contacting different prospects are too much work for our team as we are quite ‘impulsive buyers’; once we see it, we buy right away. But, getting an IT solution provider is different. IT is serious business.

Having reliable working equipment, undisrupted connections and having back-ups for a business is like what breathing is to our bodies; they are a necessity.  They are expensive and temperamental too. Moreover, people who you have to get help from regarding your IT infrastructure speak an alien language that only they can understand. This adds to the stress of selecting an IT solutions provider.

These talks of how to set-up a new network, and making decisions on whether to get wired and wireless connections has caused our team too much stress; and we sure are looking forward to being rid of it.  Anyway, research suggested that we had found the right company that will get rid of this stress for us. Our team was really looking forward to that first meeting.

Our team set up our day’s activities around that three o’clock appointment. We scheduled thirty minutes for our first consultation with the IT person; but it was already ten-past-three and the IT guy was still not around. We called his office to make sure that there weren’t any problems.

We got to talk to the IT guy’s boss, and he had told us that his team member had been meaning to call us for the past fifteen minutes. The IT guy had his full on another project. His boss  assured us though that the network engineer was on his way.

The IT guy arrived at 3:25; exactly five minutes before the team was scheduled to call it a day. He frowned at us when we said that we only had five minutes left as everyone had other commitments to attend to. We did explain that he had thirty minutes to tell us what he and his company can do for us, but he spent most of that time getting to our new office.

The entire team was so disappointed. We had already made up our minds that we were not going to entertain other IT providers, and get this company. We just wanted to meet their representative, find out what his thoughts were, and get on with the project. We wanted them to be ‘the one.’

The IT guy’s boss got the signal that they might lose us as customers. He called us up, apologized, and asked for a second meeting. We accepted the apology; but, what surprised the team was the boss’ explanation of them being a ‘service business’ as a reason why they couldn’t be on time for appointments.  We then said ‘no thanks.’  We’re also a service business, but we make sure that we meet our appointments.

The IT company could’ve just given a certain time frame, and not an on-the-dot appointment. It would’ve been fine if the said they’d see our team between three o’clock to three-thirty so that we could’ve been more flexible in our schedules during that period; but they didn’t.  Our team is now exploring the market again for a new IT solutions provider.

Lesson learned here is that if you’re a business owner that provides services, always make sure to meet your commitments. It’s that simple.

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