Going Above and Beyond the ObviousDecember 28, 2023
In the world of home improvement services, it’s essential to take a flexible approach when assessing a homeowner’s needs. Going beyond the obvious and delving into the unspoken issues can not only enhance the homeowner’s experience but also significantly boost your business. Let’s talk about the importance of comprehensive questioning during a consultation, especially when it comes to identifying and addressing hidden concerns.
Shouldering the Load
Imagine this scenario: You visit a doctor with your shoulder problem. The doctor gives you a full examination and fixes your shoulder. But the next day, you suffer a massive heart attack. Surprisingly, the same doctor walks into your hospital room, seemingly aware of your impending heart attack, but he did nothing to prevent it. Why didn’t he warn you yesterday about your heart problem?
You’d rightfully be furious. We expect professionals in our lives, whether doctors, CPAs, or service providers, to identify and address glaring issues, even if they are not the primary reason for our visit.
In the home improvement industry, professionals must adopt a broader perspective when assessing a homeowner’s needs. Instead of focusing solely on the immediate issue, they should consider the overall well-being of the house. This involves asking the right questions and using the homeowner’s answers to identify additional problems and concerns that may not be immediately apparent.
The Game Plan
So how do we go about this? A well-structured questionnaire can serve as a valuable starting tool. The questionnaire not only helps professionals gather essential information about the home but also provides an opportunity to uncover hidden pain points and gain permission to recommend comprehensive solutions.
One effective strategy employed in this process is what we call the “Pain Pyramid.” This approach involves three steps: identifying the pain, irritating the pain, and offering a solution. Let’s jump into an example to illustrate.
- Identify the Pain: Begin by asking open-ended questions about the homeowner’s concerns. For instance, inquire about the age of the home and the current state of its systems.
- Irritate the Pain: Once you identify an issue, delve deeper to understand its consequences. Ask questions like, “How does this problem affect your daily life?” or “Can you share specific instances where this issue has caused inconvenience or discomfort?”
- Offer a Solution: With a clear understanding of the homeowner’s pain, seek their permission to address it. Say something like, “Is it okay if I explore potential solutions to help fix this issue?” This step is crucial because it establishes trust and consent to recommend a comprehensive remedy.
Let’s explore a real conversation between a homeowner, Doug, and an HVAC professional using the Pain Pyramid:
Pro: Doug, thanks for calling us. Can you tell me how old your home is?
Doug: It’s almost 10 years old now.
Pro: And how old is the current HVAC system?
Doug: I think it’s about 10 years old as well.
Pro: Is the current system noisy?
Doug: It’s not awful, and I can sleep through it for the most part.
At this point, the professional digs deeper:
Pro: Doug, does the system ever wake you or your wife up at night with its noise?
Doug: There is some noise, and sometimes my wife complains about the airflow.
Now, they’ve identified a pain point and proceeded to irritate it:
Pro: When your wife struggles to sleep due to the noise, how does that make her feel?
Doug: It can lead to arguments, and it impacts her work performance. She’s called in late a few times due to lack of sleep.
The pain is clear, and the professional offers a solution:
Pro: Doug, there are ways to make your system quieter. Would you be open to exploring that?
Doug: If it helps my wife sleep better, sure.
In this example, the professional identified the pain (noisy HVAC system), irritated it by understanding its impact, and secured Doug’s permission to offer a solution. This process can be repeated to uncover and address various sconcerns within the home. The more concerns there are, the more opportunity you have to help them and your bottom line.
Furthermore, the questionnaire can help professionals recommend higher-efficiency systems, address indoor air quality issues, and even tackle issues like hot and cold spots in the house. By understanding the homeowner’s needs and gaining their consent to provide comprehensive solutions, professionals can enhance the overall service experience and provide additional benefits and sales that will help both you and them.
In our training, we have questionnaires that address the known pain points that consumers face with their HVAC systems. The Pain Pyramid technique allows your team to uncover hidden concerns, secure permission to recommend solutions, and ultimately provide comprehensive services that meet the homeowner’s needs. By adopting this approach, professionals can not only boost their sales but also build trust and long-term relationships with their clients.