Saturday, March 12, 2011

Good Answer Tom, But Show Your Work!

When I was in school I really liked math. Unlike philosophy, or literature where you had interpretations of the readings, math had one answer. There was not a debate about whether or not 7+6= 13, only the explaining of how we got the answer. I received assignments back regularly with red ink stating "show your work". I thought , "Why?". It either is or it isn't correct. In showing my work, I could learn from errors made and the teacher would be assured that the correct answer was derived from my own thinking. This would allow me the apply this in future, tougher, calculations.

Water related damages and repairIn business I find something very similar happening. I find myself sharing how my work is done, why I is necessary, or how this can be prevented in reoccuring in the future. If a client calls me to fix a situation at their property, I want to go fix it and bill the owners - period! That is clean and efficient. The job is complete, well done, and no wasted time spent.

Long-term this is not best for business. A certain amount of trust must come before a client will be a repeat customer. So I perfer to go overboard with the details, sometimes to the point that the owner may say "Tom we don't need to know all that, just fix it." The details given to the owner or manager can come in countless ways. Photos and video of the problem, hand-drawn explanations, on-site explanations, research is similar problems, and on and on... But the details are important.

If the owner or manger can understand the problem, they are more willing to solve it. They may see a dark spot on the ceiling. "Can't we just prime and paint over it?", is a common answer to such situations. But they need to understand that a slow drain leak caused by undo stress on the pipe that is causing dripping and causing mold in the drywall, and should be addressed. This sort of thing happens all the time. It would be hard to justify charging $800 to make this dark spot go away without all the necessary information. At that point it is up to the owner or manager to decide what to do.

Once that trust is built, now the client will call you. You are trusted and will be the starting point for the repair.

And the best customer is the repeat customer!


  1. I agree! It is better to let the customer aware of what is happening every step of the way so that THEY KNOW, and to be able to understand the reason/purpose of the work. As they say, Knowledge is Power.

  2. Thank you. İ visiting your blog . Nice a comments


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