What's Good? Searching for the Perfect Customer (Part 2 of a GENESIS® Blog series)
Pool Design article by Brian Van Bower, SWD Master, GENESIS® Ambassador & Co-Founder
When I think of the “perfect client,” a number of big things come to mind, starting with sufficient budgets (and the will to spend), affable personalities, good settings for proposed projects, some idea of what they want and how they want to use it – and, of course, great wine cellars and a willingness to share a bottle or two.
Among all possible positive client characteristics, however, to me the most important is the simple desire to be involved, to get engaged in the process. Client feedback at all stages, whether you’re only doing designs (as I do) or just do construction (or tackle both), is perhaps the most important information we receive throughout the course of any project, bar none.
Look at it this way: If the client doesn’t communicate, we have absolutely no way to direct our efforts toward a satisfying result. Without input, we are only guessing – a fact that, on its own, means that it is our professional responsibility to establish working relationships with clients that promote the exchange of ideas.
It also means that we have to be prepared to work with clients with smiles on our faces when in the course of the process they change their minds. And this is a huge point, because almost without exception an involved client will be the one who will most likely change direction in one way or another at some point in the project, very often more than once.
This defines the client-relations issue as being a matter of seeing our work as an ongoing collaboration and structuring that work so that we can accommodate and are in fact comfortable with change.
Of course, I’ve always maintained that changes are a good thing in our business. They generally add to how much money we can make on a project, but far more important is the fact that they represent increased client involvement and help us zero in on what will almost certainly be a fully satisfactory end product.
On the flip side, I maintain that if you’re someone who can’t comfortably roll with change, you’re probably in the wrong business.
Brian Van Bower, SWD Master, GENESIS® Ambassador & Co-Founder
Aquatic Consultants Inc.
13775 SW 145 CT. Suite A
Miami FL 33186
T (305) 383-7266
F (305) 383-7266
Skype: bvanbower and andy.kaner