Tuesday, March 23, 2010

MTB gets its first one-star review

I knew this day would come. How ironic that I was just talking about this with the guys last night at a rare "summit."

"I've been very lucky," I said. "I don't have to rely on marketing while I have good reviews on Yelp. It can't last forever, though..."

And it didn't. Less than 24 hours later, I get my first one-star review.

In a way, it's a good thing. Last summer was brutal, and I didn't have the resources or infrastructure to deal with it. By late August, I almost lost my mind. In fact, I did break down once. Let me tell you -- I had to go to Confession for that one... However, we've been doing summer-level work for about two months. What was hard last year is now what I consider standard. So, this review makes me realize that I still have some work to do to get ready for the summer rush, particularly in the area of customer communications.

Anyway, here's the one star review (found here):

After reading all the reviews on here I was pretty excited to contact this company. Unfortunately it took them 2 days to get back to me and then I asked them to contact me by phone and that was the last I heard from them. The 1 bedroom move was more than a month away so I'm not sure what the problem was. I quite disappointed but on the other hand glad I didn't schedule and then have this much problem with communication the day of the move.

Yelp allows only 600 character responses, so here's what I wrote:

Lance,

Many apologies if we've had a miscommunication. I've searched for a record of our correspondence, but as I haven't found anything, I wonder if you have the right company.

That said, it's entirely possible I dropped the ball here, but let's keep in mind what a typical day looks like for me: Up at 6:30, on the job by 8:00, work a grueling 12 hours or so, come home, spend an hour with my family, then work until midnight e-mailing and scheduling. Six days per week. That I only drop the ball once or twice every six months is miraculous.

At any rate, many apologies.

Chris
And that's just a sliver of what I do. I'm not complaining -- even though this "job" was thrust upon me, I've since chosen to take it as far as I can go several times. Every time I update my resume and look for jobs, I realize what a great thing I have here. Yes, I work around the clock. But I set the hours. I also get to choose my co-workers, the direction of the company, and sometimes, when Truck Buddy Brett lets me, I get to choose where we go to lunch.

Heh.

I've never been happier doing what I do. As Truck Buddy Jimmy frequently says, "Words of affirmation" make our day. Yeah, we usually get really good tips, but even if we don't, "You rock!" and "You guys are awesome!" make our whole day. Maybe I should be concerned at just how much we need that kind of compliment, but the reality is we LIVE for them. Personally, I've received more praise like that in the last two years (the MTB years) than in my entire professional history. It's addictive.

As for Lance's dropped communications, I truly regret that. I can't find any record of our correspondence, but I don't doubt I lost track of him. I often put "Call so-and-so back" on my calendar, forget to set a 15-minute reminder, and then let things pass by. Fortunately, I almost always catch those missed appointments when I check the calendar at the end of the day.

My response to his one-star review, which is my first ever? Well, it's totally unnecessary and probably not a little bit vindictive, but here's the fact: it's a one-star review for pre-move communications, NOT services rendered. I'm sorry I made him mad (no, really!), but I didn't make him mad by doing a crappy job, overcharging, or anything like that.

Communications and other organizational/admin stuff will be a priority going forward, and not "forward" in some distant future. I need to streamline the process NOW, and I've already been working on some things. I can't hire anyone yet, and that's not off the table, but like I said, I'm working on some things. In fact, I should probably get to it. I've got another job in about an hour and a half...

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