(Original Author of Cartoon Unknown — Cartoon Re-Illustrated by Merrisa Carter)

What the customer REALLY wants

This cartoon depicts in a funny way what often happens to building projects. A school or prospective home owner will describe their needs to a contractor and will very often end up with an end result far different than what was needed.

At each stage of a major project a variety of people with different specialties are involved. Each separate ego can add an element to the finished product that wasn’t intended to be there. Communication problems, vague instructions or budget problems can also interfere with what the customer wanted compared to what the customer gets.

Remember, in any type of project, it is important to keep it simple. The customer’s needs and wishes are of the utmost importance. They are more important than building monuments to a designer or filling a contractor’s pockets with extra cash.

Building for the customer is how trust is built in a competitive industry. This cartoon is a good reminder of how easy it is to stumble into commonly flawed territory. Remember: Design and build for the customer and everyone wins.