Thursday, I visited three locally owned landscaping businesses, with the intent of hiring a crew to work on my landscaping projects. The first project requires some major equipment that I don't have access to - large branch chippers, scrub cutters and a skid steer or cultivator. The first business didn't offer those services, and couldn't recommend anyone else. Fair enough. The second business was a bad choice on my part, I know, but they don't even know what I wanted since they did not acknowledge me at all! The third one is really the subject of this post because the guy I talked to would have willingly had me sign up for his $600 an hour design service, glowingly told me about all of the big wigs he has done jobs for, pointed out that he has $6M of equipment sitting on his lot, but would not send his $85 an hour crew and skid steer over to my house. "no, I need to see the project first" Fair enough, when can you drop by (my house is about 5 km from his shop). "Oh, well I'll be there some day" Uh-huh. I'll expect you then.
So instead of having his idle equipment bring home a little bit of revenue, it sits there depreciating. I subsequently went to the local Home Depot and found that I can rent a really large chipper for $100 for the day, a really large rototiller and a chain saw to take out the scrub. I can do the work myself. His crew can go work paving over some large lot residential home of my neighbors. And I will probably save a bunch of money in the process.
There truly is a new standard in business and a new norm to customer service.