Signature Home Services
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 96%
GQ 2020 Recommend Rate: 94%
Number of Jobs in 2020: 11
Type of Firm: Design/Build
CEO: Robin Burrill, Rob Mathews
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?
“Most clients come to us with some knowledge of remodel delays. They’ve heard or read about it, though they aren’t yet aware of how serious it’s gotten. It’s our first priority to ensure that they’re prepared for what delays mean to aspects of their projects they might not have considered.
– It will impact their start and finish dates.
– It will impact their budget.
– It will also play out in a potentially more stressful experience.
When things started getting really hairy in 2020, we immediately updated our internal expectations to start. Our lead sheet was adapted to score leads based on their timelines as well as their budget and the kind of work they wanted done. This enabled our staff to quickly identify which clients we could help and which would have a better experience with a peer we could recommend.
Those clients we did ultimately work with came with some idea of what was happening in the market, so our next step was to tell them exactly what that meant in the context of their projects. For example, all our subs were saying “prices subject to change until an agreement is signed.” Our cabinet manufacturer was getting 500 orders in a week instead of 30. Every day it was changing, so as soon as we brought a new client on, we started with setting expectations and giving them concrete examples of what kind of flexibility was required.
We also talked about the clause in our contract that states that, if prices go up substantially, the cost has to be passed on to them.
We then kept them abreast of every pending delivery date with weekly (and sometimes daily) updates, even when no additional delivery dates had been confirmed. This constant contact helped us keep their expectations realistic while nurturing the excitement we felt they deserved to feel for their projects.
At the end of the day, we tried to spin the crazy state of the world as an opportunity to enjoy even more anticipation and an even bigger emotional payout at the end.”
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?
When we can’t handle a project or don’t feel we should take it on for any other reason, we always have a recommendation of another professional better suited for the work. For example, if someone wants a new countertop put in, we’ve learned to say upfront that our provider can work with the lead directly (and that they will be a better fit). We don’t end the conversation there, though! We ask the lead more about the project, such as whether they would like additional design help or a backsplash. Once we have all the details, we give them the contact information for the other company and then we also say we’ll send the company their information. That way, we can be certain they’ll connect.
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?
“There are two things we’ve focused a tremendous amount of energy and time on since remodeling demand boomed in the pandemic.
First, we never stopped hiring.
Second, we’ve worked tirelessly to optimize internal processes one-by-one so our staff can work smarter, not harder. This has enabled them to continue delivering the highest level of customer service we’ve been known for.”