The Cleary Company

by Emily Blackburn

CEO George Cleary

Columbus, OH
GQ All-time Recommend Rate: 100
GQ 2019 Recommend Rate: 100
Number of Jobs in 2019: 63
Type of Firm: Design/Build
CEO: George Cleary

The COVID-19 pandemic changed homeowner interactions. What measures do you use to signal an extra level of care when working in or around a client’s home?

Communication & safety is always a priority on our jobsites but now our Team is going above our already high standards to ensure our client feel safe & secure. Our Project Managers are now even more aware of who is coming and going from each of our jobsites. They’re using different entry doors than our clients when possible. Installing more plastic walls to isolate the jobsite from the clients. Meetings with the clients are now held outside their home (driveway, patios, garage, etc) keeping safe distance.

Since some of our clients are now working from home our Production Team have to coordinate our loud activities with their conference calls & Zoom meetings! (so far, it’s working really well) We’re also limiting our jobsite to only 2 different trades max at a time and not exceeding more than 5 bodies at the same time in the same area.

Seamless communication technology is now both necessary and expected. How have you used new technology platforms to promote better customer communication and satisfaction?

Because Columbus is a rapidly growing metro area, we were already seeing a need to incorporate virtual meetings and new technologies as we were beginning to work with so many of out-of-town clients looking to move to the area. Our Team already had a lot of the tools in place to be successful with remote meetings and digital presentations however with the onset of the pandemic we had to learn quickly how to adapt these tools into EVERYTHING we did. Our team did a great job of working together to exercise and practice with our “”tech tools””, such as Buildertrend, Zoom, ChiefArchitect, and Microsoft Teams.

Presentations – Our Design Team learned how to integrate our Chief Architect software into presentations over Zoom, giving us the ability to walk clients through 3-D modeling of their projects, and make design changes in real time. This makes the conceptual designs feel that much more real for the client, and has been a great new experience for everyone.

Jobsites – Our Production Team has used BuilderTrend since 2015 to share necessary documents, project updates, and pictures with our clients whose homes are under construction. This tool also allows clients to approve selections and change orders.

Company wide meetings – While our team might not be able to be together in the same room, like before; we are able to utilize the chat & video features of Microsoft Teams to have quick communications, and video conferencing using Zoom for company-wide presentations and the occasional group happy hour!

What was your message to clients with projects in progress in order to keep them happy and satisfied during the uncertainty of the stay-at-home period?

Even before the State of Ohio issued an official Stay at Home Order, our Project Managers reached out to each client to make sure they were ok to continue their projects that were already in production. We’ve put together “goodie bags” for each client currently under construction with snacks, wine, etc from local “mom & pop” stores and a personal note.

Some of our vendors and suppliers were briefly shut down or slowed production. Our Team prioritized orders for clients currently under construction and actively tracked product deliveries, in order to proactively inform clients about possible delays. A constant update on changes and improving the communication was the best way to keep our clients happy.

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