Wouldn’t it be great if there were a smart-phone app for that? You just key in the words spoken to you and voila it translates to layman’s terms.
This has happened to all of us at one point in our lives. I know it’s happened to me. Maybe not so much in the plumbing world anymore, but take my car to the garage and I might as well be talking to someone from another planet. I think my eyes actually have glazed during one of those conversations. It would be so refreshing to have an app where you punch “record and translate”, hear the information you actually need.
After being in the plumbing industry for twenty years now, I know there are times that I am guilty of “techno-speak”. What is a “Wall Hydrant” to me is an outside faucet to the homeowner. The internal “stem” is the rod, or the piece the knob attaches to. It’s no ones fault really. We learn the industry terms just from, well, being in the industry. But all the homeowner wants is to have the correct part for their faucet, garage door, car, or whichever item is in need at that moment in time.
It’s not only the homeowner that speaks a different language; it can be a plumber, contractor or even distributor. What I call a Wall Hydrant, they may call a Hose Bibb, Sillcock, Freezeless Outside Faucet. It all comes down to what we were originally taught to call the item. And since I’m in the wish mode, what about an app specific to a manufacturer. You enter the manufacturer and the description of what product you have. This app gives you the manufacturing terminology along with photos and some common terms. Yes, I’m guilty of speaking in terms the customer doesn’t understand. The solution is to take the word the customer is giving us; continue using their word in the conversation but at the same time making sure that is truly what they want. Sometimes that entails asking lots of questions, but it’s truly worth it if we can help them purchase the piece they are looking for.
It’s really helpful when the customer has access to a computer. We can direct them to a specification sheet where they can see not only the product, but all the parts associated with it. I love hearing their “aha” moment. “Yes, that’s what I need” they say and when the conversation is done, we have a satisfied customer.
So to all the customers, homeowners, plumbers and contractors out there. I apologize in advance for speaking in terms that make no sense to you. Really, all we want is to give you proper information. Please ask us to translate when necessary, it helps you and it helps us to remember to give better descriptions. Truly we only want to help you purchase only what you need. Sure, we love to sell more, but not at your expense. Maybe someday I’ll get to download this app to my smart phone and will help me with my mechanic. I can only hope.