Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I Hate This Blue Carpet!

This brand new blue carpet makes me so mad. It's the carpet in the entry way of our office building. I don't hate blue carpet on principle. It clashes with the carpet right next to it and it's ugly, but that's not why it makes me upset.

It makes me mad because the carpet it replaced was an atrocity. Green tile carpet that was mismatched,  hideous, and at least 20 years old. Over the last five years I asked our landlord no less than 10 times to replace that carpet. They always said they would soon.

We are moving out of our office space in three months. My first reaction to seeing the new carpet last week was "of course," they finally listened to me when we are moving out in three months. But then I realized this is no coincidence.

The landlord also came and replaced our outdated suite signs the week after. They were faced with the reality that their biggest tenant was moving out, they had already lost a large tenant last year and are looking at losing their last tenant this fall. Their building will be empty.

If they don't make some improvements, they will have an empty building generating zero income.

The catch is that over the last five years, I told them several times what they needed to do to make me happy, they never did any of my suggestions.

One of the reasons we picked this building was the beautiful trees that surrounded it. One day, I came to work and almost all the trees had big orange x's on them. I knew this meant they were marked to be cut down.

I begged the building owner not to cut them down. Mature trees are a premium in Utah. He didn't care what I said. They were under the impression that people couldn't see their building from the road and that's why they weren't leasing out as many office spaces as they wanted; people didn't know the building was there.

Had they listened to me, their customer, I would have told them why people weren't leasing offices. Instead,  they played a hunch, cut down the trees and really upset me, their largest customer.

Hunches have their place in business, they are right sometimes. But they are wrong a lot of the time as well. Why wouldn't our landlord at least take the time to verify with his customers that his hunch was right or wrong? It's such a simple investment.

Now they are listening to some of the suggestions I have made over the years, but it's too late for us, and the other tenants. We've already had enough of not being heard.

They have to spend much more on acquisition than they would have spent on retention had they just gave a damn about us.

The moral? Whether you have a formal customer feedback process in place or whether you just want to informally talk to them. Listen to your customers! They will tell you how to make them happy, and that will, in turn, help you attract other customers that likely have the same needs.

In the meantime, I just signed the lease on our beautiful new office space yesterday. I'm pleased to report that the entry way is tiled.

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