Angela D. Harris

New products are nice, but when it comes to technology, there are only so many functions that users find useful. Take the iPhone for instance. It may be able to video chat, text, play games, and edit videos captured on the road; but if the owner is strictly using it to make phone calls, it begs the question, “Why buy it?” For Apple, it begs the question, “Why create it?”

The old, “If you build it, they will come,” philosophy is no longer enough to justify investing in new technology development. Budgets and business ledgers demand that manufacturers understand the current demand and design to meet it.

Luckily for Apple, there is enough demand to continue to create new and innovative technologies and applications; even if there are a percentage of its customers who don’t use the company’s devices to their fullest potential.

With the above concept in mind, it could be considered that one of the keys to success as a product or a service provider could simply be to ask, “What do you want from us?”


Arguably, contractors should ask that question every time they enter a customer’s facility. Be they residential or commercial, the likelihood of customers already having an idea of what they want and how much they want to pay for it is rather high. Contractors whose employees go into a sales or maintenance call with a predetermined package or technical solution may be in danger of missing what the customer desires and expects. Unfortunately, falling short of customers’ expectations can leave room for disappointed and dissatisfied customers. There is a fine line between preparedness and arrogance; and contractors who find themselves unwilling to be flexible and truly listen to their customers could find their accounts in trouble.

Of course, walking into a customer’s facility and asking, “What do you want from me?” seems like a solid recipe for disaster, but remembering to ask a customer what they think and what they expect seems like the right main ingredients for customer satisfaction. Add the abilities to actively listen and formulate a solution that may not be the standard cookie cutter solve and the contractor may have a customer for life.


In an effort to practice what is preached,The NEWSis asking its readers what they want to experience with its latest electronic products in an online survey. The print magazine continues and will continue to bring premium content to its audience every week, but we are asking our readers to take a look at some of our newer electronic products and let us know what they want as well as provide feedback on the print edition. The quick survey asks questions like:

• How many of you have an iPad?

• How many of you are listening to podcasts? How often? On what device?

• Did you get a smart phone yet? What kind?

• What would you like to see more of in the print magazine? Less of?

• Do you read the digital edition? What do you think of it? Is it missing anything?

The NEWSstaff works daily to bring its audience the best content on the platform of choice, but it is important as we go forward to understand the desires and demand of our readers. Go to theSurvey Sayspage and take the online survey.

Not only will you have the thanks ofThe NEWSstaff for taking the time to fill out the survey, but you will also be entered in a prize drawing forNEWSswag. The survey will be open until July 30. Spread the word and don’t miss this opportunity to let us know what you really want.

Publication date:06/20/2011