Years ago when I started to really think about the experiences of my actual and potential customers in planning and carrying out a construction project, I tried to put myself in their shoes. What might they think about? What might their priorities be? Then emotional questions began to surface in my awareness. How might they feel about a project? How might they feel about me? What if they had difficult experience with construction projects before, or their neighbor did, or their sister-in-law, or anyone else they knew? What might their hopes and dreams be about a project? Why were they even contemplating or committing themselves to a project.
And two real big issues: What about trusting me and handing over perhaps a very significant amount of money to me?
When I took such questions inside I had some wonder that people would agree to pay me perhaps hundreds of thousands of dollars to work on their homes. I had new respect for them and their choices. I also felt more responsibility to take really good care of them and to deliver a great product. And I wanted to know more about how they actually felt and thought.
So, I went to the source and simply asked them questions like the ones I stated above. A number of new and potential customers looked at me with wonder when I asked these things, and then they all breathed a sigh of relief, leaned toward me if we were sitting at a table and visibly relaxed. They usually said something like my questions made them feel safe, and made them feel that I would take great care of them. I was awfully happy that I ventured into these conversations, and I also realized I had to deliver. Like I said, I had a heightened sense of responsibility.
I also told them point blank that I wanted them to be very happy, and I would do my best to ensure that would be so.
Such simple, direct questions and statements have served me well.
I’d love to hear any more thoughts on this subject.