For the last eight years, I’ve used the same tailor. A friend initially recommended her services. And any time since that I’ve needed alterations or tailoring, I’ve gone to her.
That first visit was a little frustrating and time consuming. Because everyone likes things to look and fit a bit differently, I had to explain preferences to her, e.g., cuff vs. no cuff and break vs. no break. But over the years, we’ve developed a great routine and friendly relationship. She keeps measurements, which saves a ton of time. Now I don’t give her any instruction; I just let her do her job. Things are almost always perfect the first time. And when they’re not quite right, she fixes them at no charge and in a hurry. She’s very, very reliable.
Her reliability has become increasingly important for me, because I’m terrible about thinking ahead and it’s almost always a tailoring “emergency.” It’s not uncommon for me to take things to her the day before I need them. In fact, on two separate occasions, I’ve ripped either a jacket or pants and needed them that same day. Each time, I picked them up ready and pressed in plenty of time.
That I can rely on her takes away some of my (mostly self-induced) stress. I walk out every single time with items that are ready to wear. I know what I’m going to get, and I can always count her to do a great job.
FFL clients rely on us to provide consistent, high quality service, just like I’ve come to count on my tailor. Clients place their trust in us, and as E-rate experts, it’s important that we are reliable for our clients.
The E-rate program is complicated, constantly evolving, and lends itself to missteps. Providing dependable service throughout the E-rate process, from funding year-to-funding year, builds trust with clients. This trust allows us to continue serving our clients and helping them succeed. By delivering predictable outcomes, we can also take away some of the stress associated with the E-rate program.
What clients ultimately want is E-rate funding. What I want when I go to the tailor is to have clothes that fit. But the way in which the services are carried out matters. I think, for most people, reliability is a big part of that.