I always answer questions. If there is an interesting point or good tip, I would ask how much they really want to know. It's nice when they are interested, they usually thank me and say that they've always wondered about that, but never felt comfortable to ask. It drags when you have the "Good, you're here, fix it, how much" people. I haven't lost business from this, but increased as they usually refer or have me come to their homes for work.(commercial customers)
#44946 - 11/16/0410:01 AMRe: Educating the Homeowner
I like to explain anything and everything if they're interested. I guess you can put that down to an enthusiasm for my work and the desire that everybody else should be as enthusiastic about it as well!
I try to establish the level of knowledge of the person concerned and pitch my explanations at the appropriate level. I feel that in some cases an good description of why something should or should not be done, for example, goes a long way to helping somebody who might otherwise just think we're following petty rules for the sake of it.
#44948 - 11/16/0411:28 AMRe: Educating the Homeowner
I usually explain anything a customer wants to know. I ALWAYS look for hazards of all kinds. I can come out on a bad switch call and i take a quick look around make sure they have smokes, carbon monx dect. etc. If i see any other hazards ie extension cords under carpet etc they get advised about it as well as what can happen. Once again its that firefighter thing in my blood. I must say though i recently went out to look at a side job for one of my wifes clients. He wanted new outlets installed and changed out. He also wanted to replace some switches threeways etc pretty much just a quick update of devices. SO he begins to ask some questions as i pop open some cover plates to finish my estimate. I go ahead and drop back off my writen estimate and await a call back. Nothing for a couple of weeks ok it happens. Next thing i know my wife comes home from work one day and says your not going to beleive this, so and so was in today and he told me to say thanks for explaining how to fix those items he deceided he could handle it on is own and did such. I was ready to insert foot into my own mouth. That cost me a few hundred bucks. So i do tend to feel a person out prior to speaking anymore. Sorry so long winded.
#44949 - 11/16/0412:27 PMRe: Educating the Homeowner
I've learned telling them too much can be costly (loss of jobs) and also might be a bit dangerous if they really aren't capable of doing the work in a safe manner.
I think teaching them how to recognize hazards is a good thing as it can avoid injury and damage as well as bringing in jobs. I'd much rather fix something before it becomes a problem - fire jobs are no fun.
#44950 - 11/16/0403:23 PMRe: Educating the Homeowner