Estimated reading time: 4 minutes, 48 seconds
I have had clients who love to watch the progress of a project. That pleases me. This is usually a good thing if you have the confidence of the client. Once lost it can ruin your will to press on.
Every new client is an opportunity to succeed in knocking their socks off but it is a precious thing that should never be taken lightly or for granted. Once lost it is a painful experience. No job has ever gone so smoothly to not have encountered a situation, so I anticipate it and deal with it as it happens.
You missed a spot
The downside is, it can turn into a test of wills, who can outlast who. never mind that the project turns out great, the client may dwell on the negative experience and demoralize everyone with the negative aspects of the process.
Every profession has it’s “You missed a spot” story and remodeling is no exception. My dad tells a story of a client that is being picky during the project so the contractor takes her over to a beautifully painted window stool and says how does this look to you. Surely the woman says that it is just beautiful and proceeds to compliment the contractor on how smooth and white the surface is.
The contractor abruptly pulls a hammer from hits tool belt and hits the stool causing a perfectly round divot to appear. Aghast, the woman shouts out with alarm… why did you do that. The contractors calmly say “Mam when that is fixed and smooth again that is when you will know we are done”
OK, that is pretty harsh, but it is like judging anything before it is done. Remember the best cake in the world if judged before it is done is just a glob of goo. We welcome constructive criticism. There have been multiple times that clients have thankfully pointed out things in time for us to fix. We are not perfect and need everyone to pay attention, Like I always say, “Remodeling is complicated, pay attention”.
This quote, if studied can be taken both ways which is why I love it.
There is no rule more invariable than that we are paid for our suspicions by finding what we suspect. Henry Thoreau 1817-1862
In other words, those that are spring-loaded one way or the other… will be most satisfied when their expectations are met.
Our job is simple. We just take a bunch of ideas and turn it into a cool living space using lots of talented labor, great materials, and subcontractors. The challenge is to orchestrate everyone and everything to get the job done on time, on budget, and have the process, as well as the end result, exceed expectations. No problem.
It is more difficult than you think
I had the honor and privilege to see and hear the Dalai Lama in Sun Valley several years ago and to be honest, he moved me. I embraced his message of compassion and incorporated it into my life. Although I can always improve here are some of the tips I use and teach to my employees that make sense to me. How we at Levco deal with adversity is what makes us compassionate remodelers.
- 1, We understand that it hurts but refuse to take it personally.
- 2, We constantly reevaluate where we are and what we are doing, all the while realizing that through dealing with the process of making it better, we will learn something very valuable.
- 3, We make every effort to listen very carefully to learn what is behind the message because the majority of folks that are critical have a valid beef. They often have difficulty expressing it in a constructive way. It is up to us to translate the message into something positive.
- 4, We adapt and overcome. We always win. Even our harshest critics usually compliment us at the end because we always show that we care. Through the worst of times, we are resilient, If we can’t make improvements to our systems or processes we are done. I have turned every bad thing that has ever happened into a learning experience.
- 5, There are folks out there that can’t be pleased. No matter what you try or do. Unfortunately, we don’t always know who they are before we start a project, we look for the warning signs but, like shit… it happens.
- 6, I believe that the highest level of customer service and appreciation can only come from something bad happening. So I never approach bad news or adversity with apprehension. OK, I’ll admit it, “I’ve got that, I’m just looking for the pony” mentality. (That’s a story for another post)
In closing, remodeling is not easy…It is a complicated and difficult way to make a living. Those that do it well deserve accommodation and have my sincere admiration. At Levco we bring a boatload of remodeling and life experience to the table, we are up for the challenges of the industry and are not embarrassed to brag about it.
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261
If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor, please contact me. You’ll be glad you did.