Many people look at our achievements thinking, what a great overnight success story! Overnight success in our case, and in most cases, is far from reality. Just ask Crestview Dental, my first client at the age of 15! Twenty-five years later, that first client and many with us today that started soon thereafter have seen the work, dedication, failures, and commitment that went into building the successful team we have today.
One of the turning points in creating our “overnight success” was realizing we can’t give clients what they ask for. Our clients come to us as the subject matter expert for their project. It's our job to unwind & untangle their request and give them what they want instead of what they asked for! This is not only necessary at the beginning stages of the relationship, but also as we are relied on for the care of their aquarium exhibit. Giving clients what they ask for in the beginning of a new relationship is easier, faster, and cheaper than probing to find out what they really want. However, in the long run, neither party will be satisfied. Can you imagine an architect giving a client what they ask for instead of what they want? Clients frequently ask architects for things that defy physics, such as a fully open floor plan with no visible ceiling supports. While the client might ask for that, after being educated by the Architect that such a plan is not safe, the client will arrive at something they want instead of what they asked for.
Recently, I was at dinner with clients at Besso’s Restaurant. Our reservation started with Joe the restaurants GM asking details to make sure we had the proper table; size, location & shape! When we arrived, our server, Marisa, went into details about the dishes being ordered. She spoke of experiences others have had and provided her own expertise. Joe and Marisa made sure to give us what we wanted and not what we asked for! Last week, I was with John Palumbo of RI Monthly, a client and previous hobbyist for over a decade. John asked for us to move his aquarium to his new headquarters and described where it would go in the furniture plan. After 60 minutes of listening and then discussion on how his team and clients would use the space, we gave John what he wanted which was far different than what he asked for. John is going to have an aquarium that is built into the wall, freeing up floor space in the reception area, adding visual and architectural detail for little added costs and have easier access to the aquarium, simplifying maintenance.
An aquarium is a complex ecosystem and Something Fishy has built the People, Process & Products to simplify the complexity of aquarium ownership so clients get what they want and not what they ask for!
Thank you to all our current clients for helping us understand how to best serve YOU! Remember our expectations are not met until yours are exceeded!
The Fish Guy