Turning customers' needs into wants

Departments - Editor’s Insight

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October 31, 2017

As I began to make money as an adult, and was forced to spend money like an adult, I realized there is a difference between spending it on what you want and what you need.

The fun stuff usually falls under the “want” category and all the other stuff is a “need.”

Recently, I had to spend money on a need and not a want. My wife and I began to notice our back porch was slanted, which we knew wasn’t going to be cheap to fix. So, we bit the bullet, took some bids and settled on a company we were comfortable with to pump up the foundation.

To make a long story short, the job was not done to our expectations – the porch is still slanted, there were piles of dirt everywhere and the report we got from our neighbor, who was home during the work, was less than spectacular.

We didn’t even receive a bill or a warranty for the work, and while communication was great before the sale, it was non-existent after.

Because the salesman’s voicemail was full, I had to call the main office and speak with the owner. After that conversation, the salesman got back to us right away and set up another visit.

When the company returned, a different salesman showed up, and he was very apologetic. He went over each of our complaints and explained why the porch couldn’t be pumped enough to be even, but assured us that the foundation was stable and covered by warranty. While the company eventually made it right, I wouldn’t recommend them to anyone else. If the salesman would have communicated after the job was finished, this would have left a better taste in my mouth.

As I thought about how annoying this whole process was, and how I didn’t even want to spend this money, I looked at it through the eyes of one of your customers.

Sure, you have clients who hire you because they don’t have the time to maintain their property, but a lot of people who work with you want to because you’ll make the property look great.

The follow-up call is so important to getting out in front of any areas where expectations weren’t met.

The homeowner is looking forward to the new patio you put in, and the property manager is excited to drive up and see how you’ve improved the complex they manage. They have high expectations because they want to spend money with you.

Remember to convey to your employees that your customers are excited to see your work when it’s done, but with that comes with lofty expectations. The follow-up call is so important to getting out in front of any areas where expectations weren’t met.

While it’s not fun to hear complaints, that quick phone call is just another way to give the customer a reason to want to spend money with you. – Brian Horn