Integrity in Service

As small business owners, we sometimes get lessons about business integrity from the most unlikely places. Case in point: Paige’s latest lesson was learned from a carpet cleaning business owner she recently hired for an emergency spill in her home. Rug now clean, he asked how she found him. Paige told him she saw his company on the “Best of Yelp” reviews.

While the owner took pride in his positive Yelp reviews, he also acknowledged that he had two one-star reviews and they were both from people who hadn’t actually hired him. And, he insisted, they had actually brought him lots of new business. An example:

A woman wrote a Yelp review describing how she asked this particular carpet cleaner to clean her wall-to-wall carpet. When he visited to give her a quote, he observed, “You have several dog urine stains on this. We can clean the rug but cannot guarantee the stain will come out fully. Urine changes the chemistry of the carpet fibers.”

She was furious and insisted that her dog had NEVER, ever peed on the rug. He begged her pardon but stated that he had a testing kit that showed the stains were urine. He insisted he wasn’t judging her. In fact, he had two dogs and cats himself and knew that these things sometimes happened. She kicked him out of her house and wrote a nasty review detailing this story for a service he never performed.

As a result, lots of people have hired him. When he asks clients why the negative reviews persuaded them to call for a quote, they told him what they loved about the story above. It demonstrated that:

  • he’s a professional,
  • he keeps his calm when confronted with an unpleasant situation,
  • he’s honest about what his services can and cannot solve, and
  • most of all, he has integrity.

What a fantastic story, don’t you think? Our staff has also had to make difficult decisions on whether or not to provide our services for a potential new client. While we always welcome an opportunity to discuss new business, sometimes we simply aren’t the right fit for a company’s event needs…and prefer to be up front with our assessment straight away.

How has your own integrity saved you from difficult solutions or led to new business? Do you have a great or awful Yelp review story of your own? Tweet us (@paigembuck and @maggiebraff).

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