I’ve written before about leaders of growing organizations undergoing the transition from maker to manager1, seeing less of their time devoted to building things and more of it focused on supporting people who are building things.
As my business expands, I have the privilege of straddling the line between maker and manager, giving me a very real taste of what’s happening on the front lines. (I think intentionally seeing the front lines is good leadership, but that’s another post for another time.)
Part of my ‘making’ work involves direct interaction with potential customers, fielding inquiries, guiding course choices and more. One thing I’ve noticed about our team is that we offer really comprehensive answers to our potential customers’ questions. Said another way, we only give simple answers when simple answers are needed.
One example of this is a question we often receive about offering night classes (The Iron Yard currently only offers full-time, intensive 12-week courses). It would be really easy to offer quick, one-off answers:
No, we don’t offer any night coureses.
We don’t currently offer night courses, but they’re coming soon.
Sign up for our mailing list to be notified of any announcements about our night courses.
Check out our FAQ.
Instead, we offer a really comprehensive explanation of why we don’t offer night courses. Here’s a screenshot of one of those responses:
This may seem overkill, but we’ve found that people interested in our classes really appreciate the information. To some extent, that’s a result of the nature of our product—when you are focused on making a significant career change and spending lots of money to do it, you want to make sure you’ve done your research.
More than that, though, the fact that we’ve actually thought critically about our product—both what we offer and what we don’t—is encouraging to people. We know exactly why we offer the products we offer (and why that’s better for our customers).
Really thoughtful answers take much more time to craft, but can make all the difference for a customer who wants to do business with you.
1. You can see my series called “From Maker to Manager” here.