First State Building
Chadds Ford, PA
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 96%
GQ 2020 Recommend Rate: 92%
Number of Jobs in 2020: 150
Type of Firm: Design/Build, Full-service Remodeler, Home improvement/Replacement
CEO: Joe Oakes
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?
First State Building & Design believes communication and transparency are key to forming lasting relationships with our clients. We strive to keep them informed and are open and honest about fluctuating prices and material lead times. It is extremely important to us that we establish a strong baseline of trust with our customers by outlining and presenting these challenges from the very beginning of the process to establish realistic expectations from the start.
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?
We never like to say ‘no’ a customer, but unfortunately, it is necessary sometimes. We strive to be as accommodating as possible with our clients, so whether we have to decline a customer based on materials, lead time, or anything else, we do so with the utmost respect and try to find a solution to the problem. Our customers are the reason we get to do what we love everyday, and we will always go to great lengths to communicate with them and everything we can to offer any viable suggestions. Even after delivering the bad news, we do our best to still provide support to give them some guidance and point them in the right direction by offering some assistance with doing a Google search to see what suggestions we can offer for other options they could look into.
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?
At First State Building & Design, despite any added operational workloads we experience internally, we are committed to creating an excellent customer experience from start to finish. We stay connected with our clients by keeping them informed throughout all project phases from planning to building. We enforce this communication by following a standard protocol to ensure various touch points occur throughout each phase.
Our communication process always begins with a welcome email that provides the customer with key information about their project, a contact list for our staff, and a log in to our system, where they can see notes and photos of their progress. Each customer is also assigned a specialized team, consisting of a Project Manager, a Project Coordinator, and Lead Carpenter to answer any questions they have and assist during construction. Throughout the process, we engage in customer service outreach to check in on how the project is going, and address any concerns presented by the client.
We encourage our customers to utilize the daily log function in our project management system, where they can check in on their project’s progress 24/7. After the project is complete, we follow up with the customer to ensure they are entirely satisfied with their project, and send them a thank you gift and personalized email to express our gratitude for their business. At FSBD, the customer experience really matters to us.
Our customers are the reason we get to do what we love everyday so we not only want to build something nice for them, we want to deliver a great experience. We strive to ensure a quality experience from beginning to end and to live up to our motto of being first in quality, first in service and first in satisfaction. After all, no matter what the internal workload challenges are, we want that customer experience to be a good one so that they’ll come back to us again for any future projects and gladly refer us to others.