Tips Offered to Upgrade Service Levels for Kitchen & Bath Retailers

by WOHe

Tips Offered to Upgrade Service Levels for Kitchen &
Bath Retailers

A psychological study once revealed that someone who has a
positive experience shares the story of that experience with an
average of three people but someone who has a negative experience
will share that story with an average of 11 people.

That statistic ought to hit home in dramatic fashion for kitchen
and bath retailers, who rely so heavily on referrals for future
business and for manufacturers, reps and distributors, who rely on
those retailers as their lifeblood.

Following are some basic guidelines for accomplishing that
task:

Create a formal customer service program. It’s one thing to say
that you’re devoted to customer service, but its quite another to
actually do something about it. Set up formal written guidelines
for dealing with customers and train your staff on what is
accepted. Get your people to focus beyond immediate tasks and on
the customer’s entire concern. Teach them how to deal with
complaints, problems and customer objections. 

Communicate clearly with installers and subcontractors. When it
comes to customer service, your installation staff and
subcontractors need interpersonal skills as much as your sales
staff perhaps more so, since they’ll inevitably spend more time in
the customer’s home than anyone. Be sure your installers and subs
know how to react in the face of unexpected job site problems or
customer complaints. Be sure those same installers are
well-schooled in terms of appearance, cleanup, job site practices
and related matters.

Focus on fundamentals. For you and your staff, a kitchen or bath
remodeling job may be routine, but for your customer this may be
the only kitchen or bath remodeling they ever undertake in their
lifetime. Be sensitive to that fact, and put yourself in your
customer’s shoes when dealing with questions and
concerns. 

Follow up. Ask your customers about the service you’ve
delivered. It signals that you care, and it is the only way to get
information on whether you’re delivering the customer service you
think you are.

Deliver on promises. Be sure your marketing materials convey the
level of customer service your company is capable of delivering and
be equally sure that you deliver what you promise. Your Yellow
Pages ads, corporate brochures and other advertising materials
should spell out what the customer can expect to receive as
service, and your levels of service should be consistent, in all
respects, with the expectations you set.

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