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High Performance: Don’t send your employees in blind

February 13, 2019 -  By


Recently, we had a plumbing issue at the house. I began to research how to make the repair myself but decided to call a local plumbing company instead. A service technician from a local plumbing company showed up at my door. He was on time and seemed like a perfectly nice young man. He even had those little shoe covers. However, he was apparently taking the Bird Box Challenge (trying to function blindfolded). Let me explain.

When I called the plumbing company to request service, I provided extensive details about what needed to be done since I had already researched our problem. I had even looked up the part numbers needed and offered to order them myself since they were available on Amazon Prime. I asked if the company needed me to pick the parts up from its parts department. I asked if the company needed any additional information. Nope, nope and nope.

The company reassured me that it had it covered. So when the service tech showed up, I assumed he would know what to do. You can probably guess that he did not. Not only did he not know anything about what needed to be done, he went out of his way to blame us for not providing information. I couldn’t believe it. The Bird Box tech was asked to leave, since there was nothing he could do anyway because he didn’t have the parts with him.

The repair was done by another company last week. Its service tech was a bit older and was not playing the Bird Box Challenge. He knew what needed to be done, was prepared with the parts he needed and took care of it like the pro he was.

The first plumbing company didn’t lose my business because it messed up. Everyone makes mistakes. It lost my business because the manager I spoke with didn’t care. I would have overlooked a mistake, especially if I understand that it was an unusual incident. After speaking with the manager, I had the sense that the sloppiness was normal.

Before you think you don’t have service techs operating blind, stop for a moment. How many times do you send a crew to do a job without all of the information? How many times does a salesperson or account manager forget to tell operations something that’s important to the customer?

Take a good look in the mirror. Are you sending your crews out to do the Bird Box Challenge?

Now go forth.

This is posted in Blog

About the Author:

Phil Harwood is a Senior Advisor with Tamarisk Business Advisors. Contact him at

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