ERIC: You know what really grinds my gears? It’s when service shows up to a customer’s location and then has to call a salesperson to get clarification. Why can’t they figure it out themselves?
KURT: It would be easy to figure out if salespeople could fill out the simple paperwork created to let us know what to expect. Just filling out part of the paperwork doesn’t give the full picture. If we can’t plan for the job, of course we have to call and ask for clarification.
ERIC: They’re supposed to be the experts on service. We try to underpromise and overdeliver, but sometimes salespeople need to promise the world so we can get the sale.
KURT: I couldn’t have said it better myself: They promise the world to get the sale, and then we are left trying to figure out how we’re going to get it accomplished and still make enough money to pay everyone at the price for which it was sold.
ERIC: Life would be easy if we had a schedule of appointments the office made for us. Like in volleyball, the sales department sets the ball up and the service department’s job is to spike it.
KURT: Spiking the ball wins games. If all you were doing were setting the ball, it would hardly get over the net! The service side of the business is over here sweating about scoring the point — the revenue — for the company.
ERIC: We just worked our butts off trying to establish the upsell on the initial service, and then the service department wants to take credit for the sale. Really? We explained everything to them for you. What you were doing was restating what they already know.
KURT: If that were true, and sales were so good at closing, why did we have to restate everything? Why didn’t they sign up with you initially? Possibly because the person that will be doing their service is the person in which they have the most confidence. They go with the service specialist’s trusted opinion to upgrade service.
ERIC: OK, again, marketing is so much harder and more important than operations. Yes, operations are important to an extent. But come on, really? Just act like a professional. Do you need to split hairs on the little stuff?
KURT: As stated before, we wouldn’t have the funds to spend on marketing if it was not for operations and the backbreaking work we do to make the company profitable. Reviewing proposals from media outlets and pointing to the one that looks the best sounds really backbreaking.
ERIC: I mean, the important thing is all of our marketing. Without studying the best options for pursuing new customers in the most cost-effective way, we wouldn’t have an operation to worry about. It’s all about product placement for customers who want and need it.
KURT: Although it can take some work to get the right message out there, delivering that message through service and appearance can be challenging. In operations, we have to make sure that the vehicles are looking good, uniforms are in order and we are delivering a consistent message through our service to all of our customers. This is why any business would fail without operations.
Well, PMP readers, who won this debate? Lock in your vote here, and we’ll announce the results in the October issue.