Happy Customers Don’t Happen By Accident
It Takes Guts And Planning
The homeowners of the St. Louis area expect, and rightfully so, expert service when they spend their hard-earned money on their home renovations. When an exterior home solutions company fails to perform as expected, the fallout is immediate and, these days, quite public.
And what are these expectations?
In reality, most homeowners have reasonable expectations of their home contractors. They want to know what is happening and when. They don’t want to trip over debris tossed around their property, and they want to get what they paid for – a well-installed improvement to their home’s exterior.
This all sounds simple enough but is difficult to accomplish unless your company is well organized and populated with employees who truly care about the products and services they sell and perform, and we have that in spades!
Mistakes Home Contractors Make
The home contractor who is purposefully bad at their job and just looking to make some money before the complaints start rolling in might be a common image, but, in truth, they are rare.
Most complaints from homeowners come from simple oversights or, more commonly, improperly trained crews. They lack the ability to properly track their jobs and the funds to train their crews, assuming they use the same crews for their installations.
Rarely is the problem that they just don’t care.
Often, these problems come from growing too fast, outpacing their ability to plan and adjust to the increased pressures of new business. And once those issues turn into complaints, it’s almost impossible to regain control.
They start piling desperate decisions on top of desperate decisions until the whole thing just falls apart. This snowball effect is why most contracting companies fail within the first five years.
Not because they are bad installers but because they failed to plan and are drowning in their own success. They flail about trying to stay afloat, and the first step is almost always to increase speed.
When you focus on speed alone, cutting corners and using cheaper materials become standard procedure. At that point, their failure as a company is almost guaranteed.
As for those who survive, they use a mountain of marketing and minimal warranties to escape their troubles instead of taking the time to solve their shortcomings.
Creating The Ultimate Exterior Home Contracting Company
To create a great exterior home contracting company, you’ve got to have a plan in place long before you offer your first quote. You have to assume growth, but you also have to know how you will control that growth so that it doesn’t affect the quality of your work.
You have to be willing to turn down work that will scratch your resources too thin.
Simply put, the quality of the entire renovation experience must be what drives your every decision.
It’s not enough to just set your standards high because, as pressures mount, standards fall. So you have to ensure that you can control those pressures through your actions, such as creating:
- A tracking system for every step of your projects
- A communications system to keep your customers informed of any changes, delays, or coming actions
- A system for logging, tracking, and immediately addressing customer concerns and process failures
- Carefully selected crews with an eye for friendliness, diligence, and skill (in that order)
- Training programs on the products you sell stressing that it is never acceptable to ignore manufacturer’s recommendations
- A set of company standards for all things, especially how workers behave on the job sites
Above and beyond these items, you have to constantly plan for ways to keep your systems capable of handling your company’s growth. The bigger you get, the more quickly things can get out of hand, so you can’t ever allow things to slide.
So What Does All This Have To Do With Happy Customers?
Customer expectations, while unswerving, aren’t all that difficult to predict. Most homeowners only want a handful of things from their home contractors, such as:
- Being dealt with in a respectful manner
- Not being left in the dark
- Not dealing with an untidy mess during the build
- Not feeling uncomfortable around the installers
- Not having their home, plants, property damaged
- Getting the results they were promised
- Having those results last
That’s it. A fairly simple list, but one that can be difficult to achieve without proper training or a well-laid plan.
The Final Step
This final step is one of the most important and, sadly, the one many companies try to skip.
Because it takes guts and humility.
The last step in creating happy customers is following up after the project is finished.
Nobody likes being yelled at or hearing negative things about their work, so many companies prefer to just slink off into the night rather than actively seek a homeowner’s opinion about their work.
In fact, lack of follow-up should tell you all you need to know about a contractor. It’s a bright neon sign proclaiming to all the world that they have zero faith in their crews and even less interest in fixing their problems.
The XteriorPRO Way
From your first contact with XteriorPRO / Windows Depot USA of St. Louis, you will find yourself smiling. That’s because the person who answers the phone is always respectful, interested in your project, professional, and, yes, smiling.
As your project develops, you are kept up to date on every aspect and will never experience feeling confused or ignored.
When installation day arrives, you’ll be completely prepared and know what to expect. Our crews will be on time, respectful of you, your family, and your property. They will move quickly, but not with undue haste, and have your project installed properly in short order while cleaning up after themselves as they go.
The final act of the installation, if you wish, is a walkthrough with the Project Manager as you verify all is up to your standards. The Project Manager has their own set of sky-high standards, so don’t be surprised if they want to fix a problem you didn’t catch.
After you’ve had some time to settle in with your newly renovated home, one of our representatives will contact you to ensure you are completely satisfied and inquire if there were any steps in the process you would like to see improved.
This final call is how we learn and grow as a company. While we have perfect faith in our installers, we know that hiccups can occur, and we use these calls to help us set better policies and procedures.
We even use a weekly roundtable to discuss any issues that have come up, from major problems like delays to things as small as a single poorly driven nail.
These programs are why we can offer our Lifetime Workmanship Warranty without even blinking.
Perfection is our permanent goal, and perfection can’t be reached if you ignore your customers or fail to sweat the little stuff.
If you need work done on your St. Louis area home and want the most pleasant and professional experience available, contact us at XteriorPRO / Windows Depot USA of St. Louis for a free quote. We’ll keep you smiling from start to finish and long after we’ve gone home.