As highly sensitive people, many of us dislike conflict, so we may avoid confronting service providers who don’t do a good job. That doesn’t seem fair to me, so I want to encourage you to be assertive when it comes to hiring people, even when it isn’t easy. We deserve the best!
We currently have an economy where manufacturing provides approximately 19% of all jobs, with service making up the other 81%. With such a service-intensive economy, I think a fair question to ask is… why is it so difficult to get what we pay for?
The search for reliable service providers in every sector — including home, automotive, legal, financial, medical, computer, and retail — has become so frustrating that in many cases price isn’t a major concern. How many times have you thought to yourself, “I don’t mind paying for a decent job and good service, but I don’t want pay more, and still not get the work done correctly, and have aggravation too.”
Many people don’t realize that they can get more for their money because we have fallen prey to low expectations. Society has come to believe in and accept poor service. However, effective and reliable service does exist, though it may cost a little more.
The good news is that we don’t have to accept the unacceptable. The bad news is that it’s going to require us to speak out when we’re dissatisfied and become educated enough on the service that we’re purchasing to ask intelligent questions.
Below are some ideas on ensuring that you find reliable service providers.
- Try to get references from people who have been happy with the service that you’re seeking. It’s very important to develop a network of people who are well versed on a variety of issues to help you make better decisions. Online service review networks, such as Angie’s List, can be helpful.
- Find out how long the company or individual has been in business.
- Make sure that the company or individual has the proper credentials (certifications and insurances), to perform the service. Find out if the company or individual belongs to any local, state, or national organizations.
- When you call a service provider, it’s very important to see how fast they respond to your call. If they don’t respond at all, try someone else. It’s also important to note how fast a service business provides an oral or written proposal. From my personal experience of being a business and home owner, I’m amazed how long it often takes to get a proposal. In some cases, I get no proposal at all! If you don’t get a proposal in a reasonable amount of time, consider that a red flag and look elsewhere.
- Always ask questions about the intended service. No one knows or cares more about your needs than you do. You have to make your needs known. You cannot be expected to know everything, but you should educate yourself enough to ask intelligent questions.
- Get multiple estimates, especially for expensive or large-scale projects. Casually let the service provider know that you’ll be getting a few estimates before making a decision. That way, they’ll have more incentive give you their best price and to go above and beyond to accommodate your needs. Multiple estimates will also help you better understand the market value of the service and provide more insight as to exactly what needs to be done.
- Check with the Better Business Bureau to see if there have been complaints about the company or person that you want to do business with.
- It’s important to feel comfortable with a professional’s office staff. Are they knowledgeable? Are they helpful and friendly? The quality and responsiveness of a professional’s office staff (in any field) is a true indicator of the way they run their business.
- Use your powers of intuition and observation to help you make the right choices. Don’t do business with people who make you feel uncomfortable. Don’t accept poor service. Don’t be afraid to make changes as needed. If someone is not meeting your needs, let them go, even if you feel bad about it. Your satisfaction is important. Never forget that you’re paying to have your needs met.
If you consider these ideas, and use old-fashioned common sense, you’ll get more for your money. It’s a fact that we get what we expect. Highly sensitive or not, we have every right to insist on the best service for our hard-earned money!
Have you often been frustrated by the service providers that you hire? What strategies do you have to make sure that you get quality, reliable service? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments you have.