From my Bachelor Pad to Family Home: A Lesson in Multi-Channel Communication

The journey of moving from my condo (aka bachelor pad) to a family home that needed some “minor” renovations is something that my wife and I undertook back in July – and what a journey it has been! Those “minor” improvements quickly escalated into a full-fledged make over where we essentially renovated every single room from floor to ceiling.  While this experience has been exciting and is certainly something that will pay off long term, there have been some challenges along the way.

The biggest challenge, or “learning experience” we faced was the realization that we were essentially running a business. This business was outside of our core competencies and we now had the responsibility of managing people, processes, and timelines.  Additionally, we had to manage our budget and it was absolutely critical to ensure that the project was getting done on time and in the correct sequence. This required a high degree of communication and coordination which was a challenge in itself as each person we hired had their own preferred way of communicating. For example, some of the companies we contracted with utilize a wide variety of technology channels like electronic quotes, visual renderings of what the completed project will look like, customer portals, and more. On the flip side, some of the more “old school” companies preferred things like a phone call, handwritten quotes, and understood a portal as something that is used in the movies to send people back in time.

Given the fact that my wife and I are millennials (just barely), I can tell you that we are more open to doing business with the companies that have embraced technology. The major reason behind this is because, as most of the folks reading this, we are working professionals with on-the go lives with very small windows of time to conduct phone calls or meet in person. At the same time, we want to know exactly what is going on with our investment and we want to have the ability to see progress even if we cannot be at the house physically. The companies that use technology to make this happen have set themselves apart from more traditional organizations and significantly influenced   our decision making process on who to hire.

Going through this process drove home the point that just as my wife and I have challenges understanding the communication landscape and what vehicles works best for whom, many companies face the exact same problem but on a much larger scale.  Whether it is your customers, employees, service providers or partners, each of those groups consist of a wide variety of individuals that want to communicate in a variety of different ways. Furthermore, being agile and nimble regarding how you communicate will play a big role toward moving in a successful direction. That is true whether you are launching new product, marketing new offerings, onboarding new customers, or employees or deciding whether or not you want to go with 2.5 inch or 3.5 inch oak planks for your new floor.