By Erica England, Marketing Manager for GuildQuality
When I first started working for GuildQuality, I had the opportunity to hear first-hand what was on the minds of the remodelers that made up our community of quality. I’d spend my days meeting with new members, learning about their businesses, and ultimately trying to help them reach their goals. Although they all varied in size, company culture, and specialties, their ultimate objective was universally the same. These members aspired to be the type of remodeler their clients raved about.
Creating raving fans can be a tall order. Part of successfully doing so relies on your ability to understand what impacts their happiness most when it comes to their remodel. Through GuildQuality’s customer satisfaction surveying, we help our members get an unbiased look at where they stand with regards to their performance. We recently looked at all survey responses from clients of our remodeler members, and identified five main drivers of overall satisfaction.
When comparing how remodeling clients who would recommend their remodeler rate various aspects of the remodeling process versus how those who would not recommend their remodeler, we saw especially big differences in scores for communication, schedule, trust, professionalism and organization, as well as problem resolution.
Not surprisingly, we found that communication is the most influential driver of satisfaction in the remodeling process. There was a 63% difference in scores for communication between those clients who would recommend their remodeler and those who would not.
Award-winning CASE Design/Remodeling of San Jose is one of those remodelers that communicates especially well with clients. The CASE team talks over dust and floor protection, pets, children, alarm systems, parking, schedules, cell-phone numbers, change order process, payment process, etc. They cover details that may seem small, but at the end of the day mean a lot to their clients.
“We create great relationships by discussing and setting expectations before each stage of the process, using clear communication every step of the way,” Jim Kabel, Owner of CASE Design/Remodeling of San Jose explains.
As Kabel touched on, part of communicating well with clients is setting proper expectations for all facets of a project. Schedule is one aspect that’s exceptionally important to homeowners. In looking at our survey results, there was a 56% difference in scores for schedule between those clients who would recommend their remodeler and those who would not.
Another component of sustaining a positive rapport with clients is earning their trust. In fact, 98% of clients who would recommend their remodeler stated that they trusted them to follow through on the commitments of their project. The key words there are follow through.
Creating a trusting relationship with clients doesn’t necessarily mean that everything you do has to be perfect. Sometimes the best way to show that you and your team are dedicated to earning a client’s trust and following through on commitments is by owning up to mistakes when they happen and working through them toward a resolution.
Professional & Organized
According to Kyle Whalen, President of BACK Construction, the way your team finds solutions is the best way to convey professionalism and organization. Whalen shares that BACK is a very collaborative remodeling firm who addresses client questions and concerns with humility. “No single individual has all the answers but a single individual may deliver an answer that they have received from our group of professionals.”
Fifth on our list of top customer satisfaction drivers, but still top of mind for homeowners is problem resolution. Kabel and the CASE team experienced the importance of turning negatives into positives first-hand when they had a client who became very worried about a leak in their recently remodeled shower.
“She was a single mother living with two “tech savvy” sons who were concerned that their mother’s contractor had done a poor job. She suddenly became very tense and concerned about horror stories she’d heard about contractors online,” Kabel explained. “We arranged a meeting on site with her, her sons, our production manager, our sales consultant, and I to assure her that we would find the problem and resolve it. It turns out it was something simple that our plumber was able to fix easily after a bit of investigation. We kept her informed, took pictures of the fix, and reassured her to the point where she sent a very nice thank you letter to us sharing how impressed she was with our service.”
After fixing the leak, trust was restored and CASE’s relationship with their client became better than ever.
Philadelphia remodeler, Bellweather Construction advises contractors to anticipate homeowner’s questions and be ready to display how well your team can balance whatever comes its way.
“Every contractor has a different set of solutions to the challenges of renovation work,” said William Giesey, General Manager for Bellweather. “Homeowners are exploring their relationship with a contractor in terms of ideas, responsiveness and general demeanor. Successfully juggling that will go a long way in setting the stage for a cooperative and outstanding project.”
The Bottom Line
All aspects of a remodeling project are important, but paying special attention to how your company performs in these top 5 areas that drive customer satisfaction can help you earn recommendations, referral business, and a reputation for service excellence.