Want to Retain Customers? Do What You Do Best!

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Play to your strengths. Conventional wisdom says we should work on improving our weaknesses. What a terrible waste of time, talent and opportunity.  Focus on your strengths. Experience the immense satisfaction that comes with being superb at something.–Gary Lockwood

I recently had a not-so-great experience with a roofing contractor. I have to admit that I was looking for a one-stop-shop, because I also needed my home painted and my windows replaced. I didn’t want the headache of dealing with multiple contractors.

There are organizations that have managed to roll-out multiple service or product lines successfully. Many don’t do this well.

I should have known better.

They were marketing themselves, first and foremost, as roofing contractors. They did a great job on my roof. The project manager came to my home to let me choose the roof color. He even recommended I go with an upgraded roof that would hold up under our Colorado hail storms; a choice that would also save me 20% on my annual premium.

Nice work!

I have to admit that I was impressed with how the project manager led me through the process of dealing with the insurance company and completing the work on my roof in the exact amount of time he originally promised.

You are probably wondering, is there a problem here?

Well, up to this point, there was no problem at all.

It was when he began acting as a general contractor for my windows, window well covers and exterior paint that things started to go down hill.

He must have promised me on five separate occasions that he would make sure my window well covers would be installed. Additionally, he told me, up front, that it might take 6 weeks before getting my new windows delivered and then installed.

I was okay with that.

What I was not alright with is the fact that his roofing company chose to do business with a window company that was not properly capitalized. When eight weeks passed and we were well passed the original 6 week promise, I received a call from the roofing company owner that the window company representative called him and told him to meet him to pickup their deposit money and that they would not deliver our windows at all.


The owner acted horrified and sincerely apologized. He went on to ask what my family liked to eat and that he would be delivering a gift card to us to go to dinner “on him.” He promised that he would contract with a “much more reputable” window company and apologized repeatedly.

I wanted to believe things were going to be different. I agreed to wait for the windows a second time.

So, the wait continued. Many weeks later, they still had not installed the window well covers or the 13 windows. In fact, I had to reach out to the project manager to inquire. Not a word.

Weeks later, while we were not home, the project manager brought a field technician to our home to install the window well covers.

My husband was very surprised to see them in our driveway and back yard without any notice to us.

Now, I tend to be someone who likes to give people the benefit of the doubt. I may even let people off the hook a little more than most, but this time, I had it! This was the 4th time that I had to call him to ask him to provide us advanced notice when someone would be at our home. Again, he failed to provide such notice.

In the end, I thanked the project manager for the great work and service he provided on the roof, but advised him to tell the owners to do what they do best and to not try to make a buck at the expense of their reputation.

I was very clear. I would recommend them for their roofing capabilities and nothing more. I chose not to move forward with any other services.

My final interactions with them left a bad taste in my mouth. If they would have just stuck to what they do well, I would be a raving fan.

Unfortunately, for them, I will probably not mention them at all to anyone I know.

Still waiting for the gift card to our favorite neighborhood restaurant. I suspect I will never see that either.


My message to any organization looking to keep engaged and happy customers, DO WHAT YOU DO BEST! Do not try to be the “jack of all trades.” Leverage your strengths. You will create raving fans in the process and realize what it means to be superb at something!


Thank you for reading this article. I hope that it resonates with you in some way. If you think it might help someone, please do Share it. I would love to hear stories from you as well about similar situations or ones that ended well.

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