Home Renos & Market Research – Similarities Abound

7/1/2024   By: Jeff Jefkins

Last month, my partner and I were fortunate enough to have renovations done to our townhome. We feel blessed not only to be able to make these updates but also to have had a (mostly) terrific experience with the professionals who did the work.

We recently had a team off-site where one of our workshops focused on delivering an outstanding client experience. This got me thinking: the principles of customer experience in renovation contracting and market research—or any professional service—are remarkably similar.

Sometimes, experiencing service in a completely different industry can bring clarity on how to apply the good (and avoid the not so good) aspects to your own business.

Anyone who knows me is aware of my affinity for top 10 lists, so I jotted down my own list of parallels:

  1. Manage Expectations They informed us about what to expect regarding our preparations, the process, timing, logistics, etc.
  2. Be Proactive They confirmed the start date a few days in advance, giving us peace of mind and setting themselves up for success.
  3. Referrals are Everything Our neighbors had used them last year, and we were impressed by the finished product. Their recommendation was invaluable.
  4. Keep Your Deadlines Over the four days, start and end times were adhered to, with any changes communicated in advance. The job was finished on time.
  5. Provide Options and Explain Pros/Cons They proactively shared photos of possible outcomes, making our decisions easier and more confident.
  6. Quality is Job One Borrowed that one from Ford. Another good adage is any job worth doing is worth doing well.
  7. Align on Responsibilities We had a fair amount of prep work to do, which was clearly communicated.
  8. Meet Before Sealing the Deal The in-person consultation was invaluable. Professional services thrive on relationships, and it’s hard to have confidence without knowing the people involved.
  9. Have Fair, Clear Terms The pricing was fair, itemized for clarity, and payment terms were straightforward.
  10. Inject Personality Our two dogs can be a handful. The contractors engaged with them and made them happy, which, of course, made me happy.
  11. Consistency is Critical Yes, I gave a “bonus” 😉 The second part of our reno project a couple of weeks later with the same contractors didn’t go as well. The quality and communication weren’t up to the same standard. A former manager once told me, “Consistency is the hobgoblin of small minds.” I don’t agree. Consistency is everything. But I love any chance to use the word hobgoblin.

What’s your #12?