Contract Exteriors

by Emily Blackburn

Randy Hann

William McCourt






Murrells Inlet, S.C.
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 96%
GQ 2020 Recommend Rate: 100%
Number of Jobs in 2020: 325
Type of Firm: Design/Build, Full-service Remodeler, Home improvement/Replacement
CEO: Randy Hann, William McCourt

1. Demand for services is stronger than ever. Supply delays are widespread. Building product prices are rising. Please name the concrete steps you take to keep customers satisfied as timelines and prices are fluctuating?

Over the past year, we have learned that proactive communication is the best way we can keep our customers satisfied during these difficult times. We had to take a hard look at our own internal processes and update them to meet the new demands presented to our industry. We start off by setting the correct expectations during our sales process by being very transparent on lead times, pricing fluctuations, and the reality of production schedules being shifted constantly.

After the contract is turned into the office, we reach out with a “Pass the Torch” letter that is designed to be the hand-off from sales to production. We send digital copies of our contracts, and we begin to communicate with the client weekly, keeping them abreast of scheduled meetings with our project managers and provide updates on when their custom materials should be arriving. If we are informed that a delivery date has been pushed out by our manufacturers, we then inform the client and we have our sales team speak with their customer about staying with the product they chose, or give them the option of changing to a new product that may arrive sooner (only on certain projects).

We have found that by following this approach, our clients have a clearer understanding of what is going on and they feel that we are hanging in there with them and have not forgotten about them.

2. A good remodeling or home improvement firm knows the limits of its capabilities to take on additional work. What do/would you communicate to clients when you cannot handle their job and must decline their inquiry?

At the onset of the pandemic, we were like most remodeling companies in not knowing what to expect and how this new world would affect our business. We figured we would see a decrease in business – but we actually saw a steady increase compared to previous time periods. We hate to turn away clients or turn down projects, but we pride ourselves on providing a great experience, which begins with our sales team.

As our project start lead times are extended, we inform our future clients of how long it can be before we can start their project (on top of the extended material lead times). We will not “squeeze” a project in because it not only can overwhelm our production team, but it’s not fair to clients who have been waiting. We prefer to set the correct expectation, and would rather not sell a project if it means having an upset client.

We are honest with our future clients if we can’t meet their start dates/deadlines or price points, and the vast majority of people appreciate the candor.

3. During busy times like these, operational adjustments are needed in order to take on more work, often with the same level of staffing. What steps have you taken to ensure a quality experience despite the added workloads for your team?

During this time, we have added staffing to support the workload that we have received in our production, administration, and sales teams. A quality experience starts with the first time a client contacts us. We have to communicate correctly, set the right expectations, provide clear and thorough proposals, and communicate more throughout the course of the project.

To do this, we have invested in technology which has allowed us to work more efficiently, communicate better, and document our interactions with our clients (verbal or on site) so we are all on the same page. If we find that a team member is struggling, we provide any support necessary to help balance the workload, even if that means another team member stepping in to assist (from ownership, to office, or sales). At the end of the day, our customers are the reason why we are in business and providing them with a great experience is everything to us.

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