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How to maintain excellent customer satisfactionJune 29th, 2021 by
Customer satisfaction is crucial for every business, but especially when it comes to residential remodeling and construction. To find out how exactly the industry’s top performers maintain superior customer satisfaction, we spoke with a Guildmember with an excellent track record – Classic Remodeling and Construction, Inc.
In fact, their record is so good that they are the only GuildQuality member to have received our annual Guildmaster award every year since we launched it in 2006.
Secrets to running a successful business
Classic Remodeling has been in business since 1989. Running a successful operation for over 30 years has taught Bob Fleming, the company’s president, many valuable lessons. We asked him if he had any secrets to success.
“Tenacity. You gotta buckle down and do it.”
Bob recognizes the value of hanging in there even when things get tough and figuring out ways to continuously improve. But that’s not the only thing he credits for the company’s success.
Throughout the years, Bob has found great value in connecting to peers from around the country. He became a member of Remodelers Advantage Roundtables, which opened up a lot of opportunities to learn and grow from the example and knowledge of other contractors.
Bob also recommends having a great marketing team. Creating, growing, and communicating your business’s stellar reputation is crucial.
“Business is relationships.”
Communication is always crucial, but during these unusual times we are living in, it’s more important than ever to communicate frequently and honestly with your clients. Businesses are facing challenges they have never seen before.
“I tell my clients every week now, ‘Every week there’s going to be a surprise, we just don’t know what it is yet and we’ll just deal with it.”
Even if there are bumps in the road beyond your control, maintaining good relationships with your clients is always something you can work on.
Autumn Callahan, the company’s marketing director, gave a nod to Classic Remodeling’s fantastic team. Homeowners recognize when employees want to do a job right, and that goes a long way towards building a solid reputation and forming valuable client relationships.
“There’s nothing better than getting a comment back on a GuildQuality survey that says, ‘We’re glad the project’s finished, but we’re going to miss everybody.’”
Running a successful business depends on a lot of factors, but the customer’s experience is at the heart of it. Classic Remodeling has found great value in using GuildQuality to track company performance and maintain extremely high levels of customer satisfaction. If you’re wondering how you can do the same, read on.
Why become a Guildmember?
Bob has a unique perspective on joining GuildQuality and becoming a Guildmember. He joined back in 2005, when GuildQuality founder Geoff Graham was surveying his members’ customers himself.
“Back then, it was just spreadsheets.”
Classic Remodeling was struggling to figure out how to better serve their clients. The company had a working relationship with Geoff, and Geoff provided some initial surveying work for Bob. When the results came back, Bob saw that they could make changes in order to increase customer satisfaction.
The company has been with us ever since, using GuildQuality to track performance and implement improvements, all with the goal of providing an excellent customer experience and building a stellar reputation.
If you are trying to improve your customer satisfaction, you have to start by measuring it. GuildQuality can help.
How to get the most out of GuildQuality
To successfully implement GuildQuality for your business, Bob recommends three approaches: get your whole team to buy into the tool, introduce customers to GuildQuality from the start, and use the feedback to change how you work.
Explaining the value of GuildQuality to your internal team, setting up expectations with your customers that they will be surveyed, and implementing changes based on their feedback will go a long way to ensure that you are using GuildQuality to its fullest potential to grow and improve your business.
In today’s crowded market, with a lot of digital marketing noise, honest customer reviews and a great reputation for customer service will really help you stand out.
How to get the whole team on board
Bob recommends getting the whole team, from administrative staff to field crews, to understand what GuildQuality is and buy into this strategy for improving your business.
“Get the whole team to understand what it’s all about and how it helps.”
Tell your team what GuildQuality is, how it works, and why you are a Guildmember. What goals do you have for using GuildQuality? Explain the metrics you’ll be measuring, distribute feedback throughout the team, and be transparent about trends, patterns, and pain points you identify in the survey results.
Once your team understands what GuildQuality can do for your business, teach them how they can be part of the process and implement the tool in their work.
How to introduce your customers to GuildQuality
You can introduce your customers to GuildQuality in a variety of ways. Bob starts out from the very beginning: the sales pitch includes an explanation of the industry’s standard satisfaction rate, Classic Remodeling’s GuildQuality results, and information about where people can view the third-party customer feedback for themselves.
“It’s a way to differentiate ourselves from the other contractors.”
Salespeople can introduce clients to GuildQuality during the pitch, directing them to read your reviews and view the project map.
The field crew can mention to customers that they can expect to receive a call or email from GuildQuality to get honest feedback about the work they’ve done. Your employees who are on-site every day during the project generally have the most direct contact with homeowners, so leverage this to communicate about GuildQuality surveys and the importance of getting candid feedback.
We also provide an intro letter template that you can use to send to your customers. Some of our contractors include this in the information packet they leave behind after an initial meeting. You can introduce GuildQuality to your clients at any point during the project; regardless of the timing, it’s important to set up the expectation ahead of time that they will be contacted by us.
You can explain to your clients that this feedback is valuable to your company’s ability to provide a great experience for your customers, and you can also emphasize that their valuable and candid feedback is a great way to say thank you for a job well done, since it is great marketing material.
How to get your customers to respond to surveys
Setting up expectations from the beginning goes a long way towards getting a good response rate. They won’t be surprised by our phone call or email if they’ve been informed ahead of time that they’ll be hearing from us.
However, sometimes it’s difficult to get responses. Customers are busy, they may have missed the call or email from GuildQuality, or they aren’t sure how to articulate their experience.
If you are having a hard time getting survey responses from a client who has said they will provide feedback, you can reach out to them to let them know you’d really appreciate their survey response. Then you can reach out to us about resurveying that particular customer.
How to use survey feedback
In order to track team performance and use it to make improvements, all survey feedback needs to be distributed across the company.
By sharing it with the entire team, Classic Remodeling ensures that everyone is in the loop on current performance and understands areas of strengths and areas for improvement.
Bob described a specific pain point they were able to identify and solve for their customers, using their GuildQuality survey feedback. Survey results showed that their customers were not understanding the warranty they provided.
Classic Remodeling went to work solving this; now they provide an information packet that clearly outlines and summarizes the details about the warranty, the process, and who to contact if they have a problem.
“That was a direct result of seeing some lower scores on our survey, and how could we incorporate something in our system to address it.”
You can’t solve a problem you can’t see, so make sure you’re reviewing your GuildQuality survey feedback closely and getting different perspectives on it from a wide range of team members. You never know who will come up with the right solution for your customers.
Additionally, your whole team can take pride in receiving positive feedback. It’s important to acknowledge excellence, and hearing praise directly from customers is great for employee morale.
How to use mid-project surveys
Although all of our members survey their customers after the job is over, we can also send surveys out during the project.
Classic Remodeling uses mid-project surveys to check in on their larger-scale projects that have longer timelines. They have a three-survey process set up.
The first survey goes out shortly after contract signing to see how their design team did, the second survey goes out when drywall goes up, and the final survey goes out a month after the project is completed.
These mid-way surveys allow the company to quickly determine how each team is performing and help get a project back on track if the customer experienced any bumps.
Catching issues early and addressing them right away (versus after the project is already complete) ensures a great customer experience and increases the likelihood of receiving a positive review and developing a long-lasting relationship with the client.
How to show off your GuildQuality reviews
Classic Remodeling is proud of their GuildQuality reviews, so they like to show them off. They do this in a couple of ways.
After Bob’s first visit with a client, he sends them an email with follow-up information, including a link to the company’s GuildQuality profile. Additionally, they include a link to their GuildQuality reviews on their company website on their testimonials page.
You can try these approaches, and you can also embed a GuildQuality review feed or a project map right on your website so that potential customers can easily see your comment-rich customer feedback.
If you’re using social media like Facebook and Twitter, you can also automatically share your glowing GuildQuality reviews to these platforms.
Regardless of how you show off your GuildQuality feedback, it’s a valuable marketing tool and a great testament to your commitment to customer service and high-quality work.
Customer satisfaction is king in today’s world, and the home building, remodeling, and home services industries still have a ways to go to improve their customer service reputation.
“I always stress that we are at a 96 or 97 percent satisfaction rating in an industry that typically has a 60 percent rating.”
Classic Remodeling has developed and maintained their reputation for providing excellent customer experiences with tenacity, good marketing strategies, GuildQuality surveying, and top-notch employees.
Try out some of their strategies for implementing GuildQuality so you too can improve your business and your relationships with your clients.
About Classic Remodeling
Check out a few images from their recent projects: