Treat Your Vendor Right and Reap the Rewards
For the sake of discussion, let's say you call up your vendor who performs sales, service and provides supplies to your practice. Maybe you have never used this local resource for repairs. Since these types of specialty distributors are slowly disappearing due to age or the market conditions; let's say in your market there is one maybe two that one can call for help with a few broken chiropractic tables. For the sake of argument, these two tables are over 25 years old. Of course, these are your revenue generators. If they are not working, you are not making money. It would be fair to say that time is of the essence.
Now, your, "guy," comes in and provides you with a diagnosis for your two old tables and clearly communicates the problem(s) and the exact next steps for a quick resolution. Having been provided all the particulars for the repair, you tell the vendor, "Let's get this done."
Great. The vendor now has to coordinate with the manufacturer and either purchase the correct parts or source the parts on your behalf to fix these old tables.
Now let's say, further, that during the repair, inexplicably, your old table develops yet another issue which is completely unforeseen by either you or the technician. After the technician coordinates with the manufacturer it is learned that this malfunction is a known issue. Most of those tables had that particular issue years ago. It was such a huge problem for them they re-engineered all of their tables for the last 20 years, with a completely different part to avoid any further issues of that nature. Imagine for a moment that this manufacturer no longer has that old part whatsoever.
Alas, the manufacturer does have a solution that will retrofit the old table with new parts so it will work perfectly. The technician shares this news, the cost, and the fact that the buttons on the side of the table to work the flexion and elevation will no longer work, however, you will have, "foot pedals," like all modern tables have today that will operate the table. "Of course, [you say,] make the table work again."
Great. Back on track! The technician replaces the old part with the retrofit part and presto: your table(and the other table) now work better than when they were brand new.
Original Repair Cost
Parts and Labor: $700.00
Retrofit Repair Cost
Parts and Labor: $800.00
Now here is where it gets interesting. Let's further consider that you, the chiropractor, lead off every conversation stating, "I'm a good Christian man."(or insert whatever affiliation you may have) The technician believes in the universal good in people and he really could care less about your religious affiliation. The tech, with your permission, did the work in good faith. That's what we call an, "implied contract."
Do you now, A) look at your bill and start nit-picking every single thing that happened to your tables? Working every angle to make him feel like he should quickly start discounting his services? The very services you agreed to have him perform? Do you blame the technician for frying your table?[a complaint that you conveniently never brought up prior to the resolution] Do you call the technician into your offices falsely claiming the table does not work properly only to blind side attack him when he arrives claiming the "sound" of the table, "isn't exactly the way you remember it," before he ever touched your table? Do you make a threat, "ya know, this is a small community and, well, I don't want to bad mouth you to other chiropractors?"
Or, do you B) treat the technician with respect? He did the job. The tables are working great. He doesn't feel good about the coincidental failure of your table while working on a completely different part. He isn't stupid. He knows you don't/won't want to pay for the other part of the repair. Stuff happens.
At this point, the tables are working up to manufacturer spec. It seems clear that the original project parts and labor should be paid without question. Can we all agree on that??
The secondary issue that arose during the first project--was no ones fault. If you choose option B, then the technician and his company will do everything they can to make this less painful for you. Payment plans, reduction in total hours, reduction in hourly rate, cost sharing on the parts, etc..
Option A, only leads to you NEVER ever being serviced again by that company. The company loses valuable time, money and resources.
The reward for being a stand up client(ie, THE WIN) is that you receive a long-term partner to your business who will remember that tough situation that you graciously worked through with them. Free check up's on your equipment are in your future. Discounts on new equipment--without having to ask or negotiate. Forever, you might receive reduced rates on further work. That is part of being a good partner. That is how MSC would go forward with our partnership.
Trying to blame the vendor for everything that has ever happened to your tables gets you ONE free service. One. That, my friends is short sighted and small minded.
If you are an option A kinda client, and believe the, "chiropractic community is small," imagine how small the service repair community is? We do talk to each other, ya know? As service repair technicians, we are truly a very small business. None of us as vendors want to sustain $1500.00 losses on one client for one repair. We do warn each other about those clients who feel that profiting off of our hard work, parts, knowledge and expertise, is appropriate behavior.
Yes, you can back us into a corner and get free parts, service, and expertise--ONCE. Treating your vendor as a valued partner to your long-term success-invaluable.
MSC, will routinely, drop everything to get to one of our good partners and get them squared away as quickly as possible. We will push them to the top of the pile--no questions asked. That's a pretty good deal for you isn't it?
That, is reaping the reward of treating your vendor like a partner!
If you are a, type B client, let us reward you. Use this code: JTASUCKS and receive 20% off of your next order online!