Last night I looked at an interior renovation job. The customer is a referral from a new friend.
My twenty minute visit to measure for new floors and discuss things turned into about an hour and a half. The lady’s condo is very cut up, with lots of angles. I wanted to be careful.
We discussed the proposed new floors as I measured twice. She also knows I am about to publish a book and an e booklet and said she would like to read some of the writing. I told her I would email her my e booklet.
Then she said, “What do you know about bathrooms?” I looked at a leaking problem she has, partially due to the wrong whirlpool tub set into a tiled deck, and partially because of an installation I saw trouble with. We discussed some options, and then she said she wanted to show me something else to be dealt with. I told her I could take care of this second added matter for less money than someone else had quoted her.
She then said that she had to break off with a previous man who had done some work when his final bill was way over the original estimate, with a poor explanation. She said she was basically trying to find her way through getting work done on her own, and it was not going so well.
Well, construction is not her area of expertise. If it were so simple and straightforward, there would be no need for contractors.
As I was close to leaving she pointed out two cockeyed cabinet doors over her kitchen sink. I asked for a screwdriver and tightened up the doors and made a quick alignment.
When I got home I emailed her the writing and said it was good to meet her. This morning I got on the phone and the computer and got her some information on bamboo flooring, with links.
She wrote back thanking me and said she is relieved working with me.
It is very nice that she already seems to have faith in me, but on a broader scale, isn’t that a big part of what customers want from people in the construction business? They want the relief of feeling like they are in good hands, and the faith that someone else knows enough and has high enough standards and integrity to perform a quality, honest job for them and treat them well.
I have heard statements like, “We feel safe with you”, “We are comfortable with you’…things like that. I think this is the first time that a customer said, “I feel relieved”. Yet this simple statement seems to me to get to a big part of the heart of the matter for many customers.