Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUL 2015

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

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of each day for cleanup. Making cleanup a part of employees' daily routines will emphasize its importance and creating a company standard. Jobsite cleanliness promotes better quality work, employee safety and happy clients. FEEDBACK After all is said and done, ask for criticism. We send our clients two satisfaction surveys throughout our design-build process. Te frst is sent after the design is completed and a contract is signed. Te second survey is sent once construction has been completed. Tis helps us get a feel for how our design team is doing, in addition to our production team and highlights the areas we can improve upon. Once you receive feedback, use it! However, don't try and tackle multiple issues at the same time. Pick one or two areas that need improve- ment and focus on it for six to 12 months to ensure their implementation and success before tackling other improvement areas. Create a plan to provide better customer service with each client interaction. Including your staf will help them understand how im- portant customer service is to the company and the benefts of providing exceptional cus- tomer service. | most of our clients are taking time out of their workday to meet with our design consultants. Be mindful of your client's time since most have made special arrangements to meet with you. DESIGN MEETINGS Setting expectations directly correlates to pro- viding good customer service. We encourage our design consultants to put together an agen- da for every meeting to keep it focused and on track. Our designers start each client meeting quickly discussing the appointment goals. For example, if working on a kitchen project, the goal may be to select countertop and backsplash materials. At the end of the meeting, they sched- ule the next appointment and set expectations for that. Tese simple actions ensure everyone is on the same page and keeps the process moving. SCHEDULES It may be difcult, but committing to a sched- ule for each remodeling project is important when meeting client expectations. Email them the week's schedule every Monday morning or set up a weekly face-to-face meeting for prog- ress updates. If you let your client know in the beginning of the week that the jobsite will be quiet on Tursday, they typically understand. If you wait until Tursday morning to let the homeowner know, they will certainly be up- set. Consider including a recap section in your Monday morning email listing the previous week's progress. Tis reminds the homeowner of everything that was accomplished, even if they may not have visually seen it, such as plumbing or electrical tasks. CLEANLINESS After years in the business, it is easy to forget you are not only working in someone's house but their home. With this in mind, jobsite cleanliness is a great place to exceed expecta- tions. At our company, we allot time at the end Set Expectations to Provide Great Customer Service By Andrew Shore, CGR, CAPS et's face it — contractors have a hard time keeping a good reputa- tion these days with online reviews and DIY television shows setting over-the-top expectations. I'm sure you have seen surprised reactions from potential clients who are shocked to hear the timeline of their remodel will be twice what the latest episode of Property Brothers depicted. Te best ways to educate some of these misguided homeowners are by providing exceptional customer service with consistent communication. For most of us, our business thrives on re- ferrals and repeat clients. From the initial con- sultation to construction completion your frst priority must be customer service. Referrals and past clients have a signifcantly higher close ratio than other lead sources, which results in less time prospecting and more time providing customer service to create more referrals. Providing great customer service requires a deliberate efort and an action plan. Here are a few things to make sure you consider when put- ting together your customer service strategy: INITIAL INTERACTION Great customer service should start with the initial phone call. Make sure whoever is answering the phone is bubbly, cheerful and helpful — our receptionist's job title is Director of First Impressions. We want to em- phasize the fact our company's frst impression is her primary responsibility. After you sched- ule a consultation appointment, you should followup with an email confrmation. Tis will also allow you to gather the client's email address for future marketing campaigns. PRELIMINARY CONSULTATION Be on time. It sounds simple, yet many pro - fessionals still do not realize how important this is. Within our company we do our best to work within business hours, meaning that L ANDREW SHORE, CGR, CAPS, president of Sea Pointe Construction, Irvine, Calif., has more than 30 years of experience in residential remodeling, specializing in kitchens, bathrooms and room additions. Shore is involved with industry organizations, such as Remodelers Advantage Inc., the National Kitchen & Bath Association and National Association of Home Builders. 14 July 2015 QR QualifiedRemodeler.com | ForResidentialPros.com PROFITS: On Your Business

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