Really happy (renovation) clients

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This posting in Leo Thayer’s dailyfiveremodel.com site touches close to home, as we prepare for a kitchen renovation.

Hold on there, remodeler. I sent your not list to Geoff Graham at GuildQuality, which conducts client surveying for remodelers (and is a d5R sponsor). Does this “top three” list correspond to your survey data? Geoff’s response:

“It varies for every remodeler. Each has a different profile of client. But those are certainly three of the most important. For the average remodeler (if such a company exists), the last time I crunched these numbers, our data showed that schedule was most important for remodeling clients (by a hair) followed by communication and problem resolution, but I’m pretty sure clean job site was among the top five….

“You might get something entirely different if you outright asked clients what single thing was most important to them. Or you might ask clients to list the three most important things, and that, too would result in different answers — kind of like if people could cast a vote for as many candidates as they wanted, and whoever got the most total votes became president, we’d often end up with a different president than our current process.

“So, yes, those three priorities pass my gut check with flying colors, and if a remodeler focused on those three they’d be likely to have really happy clients.”

Well, I can tell right now that “schedule” and “communication” are indeed important.  My wife, in this project, with her exceptional sense of detail (and some writing work for ottawarenovates.com behind her) has decided to act as the project manager, contracting with an independent designer,  a small GC with a reliable (and not-too-expensive) network of sub-trades, while purchasing the cabinets, tiles, appliances and other materials directly (from reputable suppliers who work extensively with the renovation community and the Greater Ottawa Home Builders’ Association.

Even though the actual work has yet to start, her two biggest frustrations are, indeed scheduling and communications.

I told her these problems might be less severe if she used a well-established (larger) renovation contractor who relies more on in-house than independent sub-contractors.  Of course, we would rightfully need to pay a few tens of thousands of dollars more in well-earned mark-up for this level of service.   However, these two elements (plus the clean job sites) are, when it comes down to the basics, three of the easiest fixes you can make in your business — and your marketing.

Get your scheduling commitments, client communications and job site cleanliness job standards to the highest level of quality and I think you will solve about 50 per cent or more of your business — and marketing — challenges, without spending a cent in marketing dollars.

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