Today's post is inspired by events from late 2014 and early 2015. During that time frame, we lost a lot of maintenance business. And what was so hard about losing this business was that the reason we lost it had nothing to do with our company or our work - it was due to only 1 thing - PRICE. It was very frustrating and left me with a feeling of helplessness. It also called into question everything I believed about who we are. Today's quote highlights my struggle at the time as I faced this crisis of belief. The quote below is by Richard A. Davis and is found in his book The Intangibles of Leadership. The intangible he is discussing in the chapter where this quote is found is entitled "Will."
"Leaders who become overly tempted by "low-hanging fruit" often do so at the expense of valuable long-term opportunities."
Translation: it was very tempting to give up on our commitment to quality and service and change our entire business model to replace this work. I actually thought to myself, "if the customer is not willing to pay for the quality and service, and shows no loyalty to save a buck, maybe we should develop the same calloused approach and become like every other landscaper?" Thankfully that was a fleeting thought!
We held true to our credo - quality, service, and a commitment to honoring our word. We worked hard to discover new ways to operate so that we could offer the same exceptional quality and service but at a price that can be more affordable. We kept our eye on the long-term goal despite opportunities to grab some low-hanging fruit. As a result, since early 2015 we've been incredibly fortunate to experience another significant growth spurt to the point that our maintenance billings are at an all-time high. We've been rewarded again for our commitment to quality, service, and honoring our word.
REMEMBER: all of this hard work to gain our reputation can be destroyed by a few poor choices. Everyone at Crawford has the ability to effect this and must take our credo seriously. Quality is job 1. Service each client like you would like to be serviced. And always, I repeat always, do what you say you're going to do. Wash, rinse and repeat!