Finding Revenue When You Break Even 98% of the Time
The Extra 2% Effort That Brings In Revenue
In our industry and many others, you break even on 98% of your jobs. On those 98% of jobs, you are simply meeting expectations. When a customer calls, they expect you to show up on time, they expect you to get their junk gone, and they expect it to not be damaged. That’s meeting expectations. The extra 2% beyond just expectations is where you can find your revenue.
Junk Doctors founder and Junk Removal Authority CEO Lee Godbold shares an example of this being true for Junk Doctors:
To give you an example, we did a large four full truckload pickup years ago when we first started. We hadn’t been doing it long, we looked at it and we gave him a firm price. After we loaded everything up, it ended up being four full truckloads. A lot of it was sheetrock, debris, shingles. All that was all over the place and we picked it up by hand. When we originally quoted, we hadn’t seen that there was more. Our customer saw us and how hard we were working but after we finished, he said “Oh, I got this to pick up, too.” We looked at it and told him that it would be an extra cost, but he refused to pay more than what we agreed on. If we wanted to get paid for the first four truckloads, we had to finish another truckload and a half. It wasn’t worth trying to go through the legal system to sue him in order to get paid for the first four loads, so we went ahead and did the extra load and a half.
Once we got the job done, it would’ve been easy to think “You know, we just did all that extra work for the extra truck and half, we aren’t gonna sweep up or help him move some of the furniture that we had to move.” And he didn’t ask us to do any of that, but we went ahead and swept, raked, and asked him if there was anything else. We gave him our card and thanked him for the business. We were super, super passionate and grateful for the fact he gave us the business even though we didn’t make money on that job. By the time we did that last load and a half, we maybe broke even on that job but we didn’t hold it against him. We were irritated at him, but decided to try to impress him anyway. Maybe he had a referral in him so we could actually make some money.
After it was all done, we gave him a follow-up call a few days later to make sure we got everything and he said that there was something else, another sixth of a load he hadn’t told us about. We went back out to get this sixth of a load and gave him another follow-up call and by this point he said everything was good. We sent him a thank you card a couple days later. A few days after the card, he called us and said “I want to let you know that y’all are awesome. I know I threw a lot at you and y’all are just unbelievable. You did all this great work at a fantastic price and I want you to know that anytime I can refer somebody, I will. I’ve actually already called a couple people and told them how fantastic y’all are.” We thanked him and told him to let us know if there was anything else we could do for him.
That one customer, though rude, directly referred over 10 people to us. Those 10 people have referred another 1 or 2 customers each. This one asshole of a customer has brought us around $12-$15,000 or more in revenue, not including his own job. We haven’t had another job from him, but I can tell you that we would take care of him. We didn’t make a penny on that job, but that final 2%—the thank you calls, going back to get an extra sixth of a load, sweeping up, the thank you card—that final 2% led us to a tremendous amount of business. The extra service you provide to your customers to wow them is when they’re gonna pick up their phone and tell others about you. They expected 98%, but you went the extra 2% which led to loyalty, raving fans, and referrals.
Investing your efforts into going that extra 2%, that extra little bit higher than customers’ expectations is where you can find some extra revenue. Just meeting expectations isn’t enough to gain customer loyalty and referrals. Think outside the box and find ways to show your customers that you care about them, even the customers that you don’t like, even the customers you’re only breaking even on. It brought Junk Doctors an extra $12-15 thousand, and who knows what it could do for you.
To hear Lee tell the whole story, watch the full video here: