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Doing the Dirty Work Wins Work

Sometimes it pays to break your own rules.

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I try so hard to keep a personal and family life. I often turn off my phone on weekends so I can spend quality time with my kids and my wife. Clients not on a paid maintenance plan do not get 24/7 support, otherwise I would never get a break. That isn’t to say our clients don’t get great exceptional service — we have a 24/7 support line, where the phone is shared among staff and the person holding it is paid additional hours. Our clients know they can always reach someone if it is urgent, but sometimes I break the rules and see a call come into my personal phone and I answer it when I know it is going to be a support call. I may cringe a little bit, but I’m too committed to my clients to leave them hanging.

This happened on Wednesday, late afternoon before Thanksgiving. My phone rang. I was about to leave NYC and head home to NJ to relax a bit. We didn’t have any plans until the following day — Wednesday night was just going to be hanging out and watching some TV with my wife and kids. But I had a few hours before I had to be home and traffic wasn’t terrible…yet. So I took the call.

Also by Todd Anthony Puma: Having the Tough Conversations

It was a client we had recently upgraded to Crestron Home, and, as expected, their Autonomics music system was not working well with Crestron Home. We had installed a Sonos player as well, anticipating this issue and had shown her how to use it, but she was familiar with Autonomics hadn’t really used Sonos, so she did not feel comfortable with it. Since she had been such a pleasure to work with in the past, and she had company coming over for the holiday, I decided to head over. Her home was not far away from the consult I was just wrapping up, and I had already sent the team home early to enjoy the holiday. I hopped in the car and drove over.

After the quick training, she loved how Sonos and Crestron Home worked together and was really excited to get her Apple Music working with her whole home audio system. In fact she was so happy with how everything had been working we Crestron Home and was now so excited about Sonos, she brought up the other two homes she owned and wanted to do work on — one a suburban home outside of the city and one a beach home on the Jersey Shore. I gave her ballpark ranges of what it would cost to get homes of each size up and running with systems similar to her apartment. She was very interested. I went home and cranked out the proposals.

Also by Todd Anthony Puma: Setting and Meeting Expectations

I now am booked for several weeks outfitting her other two homes with Crestron Home and Sonos. Over $100,000 of additional work because I took the time to head over on the day before Thanksgiving for a 30-minute quick housecall.

So, yes, you want to make sure you have a life and spend quality time with your loved ones. But you also need to find ways to keep your clients happy and provide top-notch service, because you never know when something small can lead to something big.