Building Air Quality September 2018

WHENYOU CAN’T SAYYES 3 Ways to Say No Without Losing a Customer Has a client ever asked you for something you didn’t have the resources to provide? Have you ever had a request to do something that’s against company protocol? Do clients want you to bend over backward on a task that isn’t worth the ROI? On these occasions, you are perfectly justified in saying no. But clients rarely like being turned down, so it’s important to learn to say no without losing a paying customer. Offer Alternatives Maybe a client has asked for something you don’t traditionally offer. Unless this is a rare opportunity to branch out and begin offering a new service to all clients, it doesn’t make sense to run yourself ragged fulfilling a niche request. Avoid the fear of letting your client down by referring them to another place where they can get what they need. This way, you get to say no while still being the person who helps the client get what they want. Ask for Clarification If you have changed anything in your company, be it the software interface on your website or your pricing structure, you may have frustrated clients who demand things go back to the way they were before. Since that’s not an option, try to determine exactly what they are upset about. By asking a client why they prefer the old way, you might learn that they are having trouble accessing important information in your new software or that the new price increase is beyond their budget. Armed with this information, you can hopefully find a solution for what’s really troubling them. This is also a good time to explain the reason behind the change, if possible. Clients can be more accepting when they understand something better. Make Clients Feel Heard In every interaction, people want to feel listened to. Even when you have to say no to a client, making sure they feel heard and respected can go a long way toward maintaining that goodwill. Acknowledge the issue they are having, empathize with their frustration, and make sure your client knows you are listening by using their name and saying, “I understand.”You can’t say yes to every request, but you can remind clients that you value their support and appreciate the effort it took for them to contact you. Saying no is not bad customer service. When you take the time to say it the right way, you’re actually doing the client a favor because it means you aren’t wasting their time.

The Return of Asbestos

Why Building Owners Should Worry About a New EPA Proposal

Just when we thought we’d seen the last of asbestos, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed modifications to existing rules that could allow some asbestos items back into our lives. Once dubbed a “magic material” due to its strength and fireproof properties, asbestos has been known for decades to be a dangerous carcinogen, causing the deaths of

around 15,000 Americans every year. This is why many building owners and managers were surprised to hear about potential changes the EPA proposed for asbestos regulation. NBC reported, “The EPA released the new proposal, known as a ‘significant new use rule,’ in June, detailing how companies can find new ways to use asbestos that will be evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Some of the products that may now involve asbestos in the manufacturing process include adhesives, sealants, pipeline wrap, and several others.” The significant new use rule would not change regulations already in place, but it would offer new avenues for asbestos to be used, provided such uses are approved by the EPA. This is troubling, considering the decades of research connecting asbestos with deadly diseases, including asbestosis, pleuritis, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and mesothelioma. How could this proposed change impact commercial building owners and managers? Well, it puts the responsibility on you and your contractors to ensure materials containing asbestos aren’t brought in or used in your buildings. Even if the use of asbestos is approved by the EPA, it is still a known carcinogen. This is not a substance you want anywhere in your building. If a person gets sick due to being exposed to asbestos in your building, you could be held liable. Currently, the EPA’s significant new use rule is still only a proposal, but that may just be a formality. Keep your ear to the ground and pay attention to this issue. It could get out of hand quickly.

2 Protecting the Built Environment

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