We receive a lot of phone calls at Dobson and Surrey Ltd in our dealings with clients, suppliers and third parties and these are the top 3 current frequently asked questions of us...
1 "My lights / power / heating / other has just gone off - can you get someone here this morning / afternoon?"
2 "I've gotten your quote and i know a bloke from the pub / golf club / other who can do it much cheaper. Can you reduce your price?"
3 "Who is your current gas / electric / telephone supplier? We can save you 20 / 25 / 30% on your current bills..."
Surprisingly, all three questions are related, in a fashion. It all comes down to a compromise between quality and service balanced against cost.
A wise man (OK, it was someone from an electrical wholesalers...) once told me "if i'm cheapest on everything, I've done something wrong". If you are cheapest all of the time, when are you making the money needed to run the company, to pay your employees (and yes, your utility bills)?
In the electrical contracting business, we continuously see smaller companies or "one man bands" coming along and offering incredibly low quotes to customers. On paper, that's great for the customer - it's usually after the works are done and a problem occurs that the compromise is discovered - either in the quality of the works or the responsiveness of the company.
We've seen many occasions where we've priced a job, it's been given to someone cheaper and when we get a chance to look at the works, they aren't the same job. The materials aren't the same quality, the installation is not engineered to the same levels or it's obviously been installed in the quickest way possible.
The only person losing out here is the customer who is not getting what they thought they would be getting. Or paid for.
At Dobson and Surrey, we have always prided ourselves on the "do it once, do it right" ethos - but if you DO have a problem, we will rectify it as quickly as we can and ensure it won't happen again.
We won't use poor quality materials to keep the cost down - it's not worth the damage it will do to our reputation nor the problems it may cause the client.
We are living in times where price is the "be-all and end-all" - but it shouldn't be to the detriment of quality or service.
We position ourselves on the "Quality and Service" side of that equation - and we respect that our clients do too.
(Incidentally, in answer to Question 3 above, our usual response is "if you don't know what we are paying, how can you tell us you'll be cheaper?". That usually ends the call pretty quickly!)