GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 96%
GQ 2021 Recommend Rate: 98%
Number of Jobs in 2021: 18
Type of Firm: Design/Build
CEO: Robin Burrill, Robert Mathews
Business technology and business software are offering new ways for remodelers and home improvement professionals to improve client experience and customer satisfaction. In what ways are you using software or technology to improve client experience?:
Technology has aided and augmented our client experience in exciting ways in 2021. Some of the simplest additions to our process have given staff new ways to care for clients and see that they enjoy their renovated spaces in enhanced ways.
For example, we completed a digital care guide template that takes all the complex (but crucial) specifications documents from their remodel selections and consolidates them in the appendix of a beautiful and easy-to-follow PDF filled with clickable links. Clients receive the PDF care guide at the end of their renovations and navigate to high-level care tips we write for every material and selection in their project. Then, if they need to, they can access the more in-depth technical and legal language in the manufacturer guides and warranties that we include in the fine print appendix.
After all, why download all those specifications documents if not to ensure our clients get the practical care information they need to keep their renovations beautiful for longer?
This simple integration of a more digital experience (rather than printing out enormous binders of warranties and specs docs) is a simple application of technology. Perhaps a more powerful one, though, is our growing use of video. What was first a “makeshift” solution for many businesses in 2020 is now a seamless part of our lead and design process. We connect with leads and tour their homes from the palm of their hands. We even get videos of nooks and crannies where our handyman or warranty service is needed. Then, we hold design meetings over video calls and even deliver contracts and design agreements digitally
All in all, technology has become a tool to bring more value to our clientele.
Rising costs for labor and building materials along with higher inflation on everything else is forcing remodelers and home pros to raise prices dramatically. Tell us about the most effective ways you are passing along these rising prices to your clients?:
We are passing on the invariably rising costs with the promise of an even greater client experience. The delays are what’s hardest for the homeowners wishing they could remodel—lead times for some of the most in-demand or luxurious selections are as long as a year! The custom cabinetry we adore designing for clients also presents lead times of several months (instead of weeks), and those cabinets are the linchpin for starting any production work at all.
To combat the sticker shock of costs to clients, we’ve moved our own resources around to create an entirely new role in the company devoted to keeping clients better informed of moving delivery dates, production schedules and lead times. Therefore, we can offer an improved experience and extraordinary client care to help justify the stress of rising costs.
Best of all, we were able to hire from within and take one employee’s natural talents and build the role around the needs we felt from clients.
Like a heavy weight on their shoulders, homeowners’ anxious dreams of a space they could love again—or live better in—helped us come up with a creative way to re-administer our own costs and better serve them. It’s paid off for everyone…our clients, our company, and even the employee in question!
Supply shortages have required you to ask clients to go back and pick another finish or building material. What are your tips for handing these product trade-off conversations?:
This is a delicate question that exacerbates an existing problem. The clients we work with are already overwhelmed with finish and building options. They’ve had inspiration overload from Pinterest…they’re not fixated on return on investment for their remodel, either—homeowners who hire us expect our team to make magic, make dreams come true. With the kind of budget that sometimes implicates, client selections discussions can quickly become exciting but then snowball into analysis paralysis.
Depending on the selection, we work with clients to explain the full scope of implications if they sacrifice one selection for another. There’s quality and manufacturing to consider as well as lead times, after all.
Add to it the reality of the supply chain today, and our clients put in the balance their desired timelines against the potential disappointment that could last the lifetime of their remodel if they make a selection that doesn’t “wow” them. In most cases, we advise them to favor what will bring them the greatest return on enjoyment.