Designers Discuss How They Ensure Customer Satisfaction

"It is hard to cover every minute detail of the job, but we try very hard to be as specific as we can within our contract with our clients about policies and procedures so they have a clear picture of what to expect. We also put together a timeline of the project so our clients know exactly when to expect workers at their home and they know what work will be done. In the event that a change is necessary, we communicate that with our clients right away. We realize that a kitchen remodel is one of the most inconvenient and stressful projects to be done in a home. We, therefore, do our very best to minimize the downtime, keeping in close contact with our clients during the process.”

Diane Augustus, business manager

Advanced Kitchens

Ellington, CT

 

"I’m there from the first handshake to picking up final payment and personally thanking them for referrals. I know the names of my suppliers’ employees and I know how to show my appreciation for their diligence, often to the management. Customers don’t hire me, they hire my teams.”

Bruce Albert, president

Alcraft Kitchens

Ramsey, NJ

 

"Our customer satisfaction is what drives us every day. If the customer is not happy with the design or product we’ve specified, then we didn’t successfully do our job. If cabinets, countertops, tile layout, etc. aren’t exactly how the client likes, we go back and change it to their satisfaction.”

Kimberly Martin

owner/kitchen designer

Custom Kitchens by Martin

Mendon, NY

 

"I have one policy. I tell everyone involved in developing and implementing the project that we are all in the same business: managing expectations and entitlements. If we manage clients’ expectations well, we prevent entitlements from kicking in. When expectations aren’t met, clients begin asking for considerations that invariably come out of profit margins.”

Richard Landon, CMKBD, NWSID

Richard Landon Design

Bellevue, WA

 

"We work the design until the client is satisfied, continually checking and double checking that the design, physical work and products are satisfactory during the project. After the job is done, I will return and help correct any objections.”

Mark Parsons, owner/designer

Mark Parsons Design

Portland, OR

 

"I do not get my final payment, nor do I ask for it, until the job is finished to my clients’ liking. I have always been paid!”

Myra Ephross, owner

Ephross Designs

Bellaire, TX

 

"Ensuring customer satisfaction is our prime focus in business since most of our sales leads come from referrals. We have systems in place for effective communication between all of our team members so everyone is aware of any problems that may arise. Problems are dealt with swiftly and effectively to minimize disruption to the schedule and ultimately the customer.”

Dawn M. Maggio, CGC, ID, CES, GAC

Broward Custom Kitchens

Pompano Beach, FL

 

"I stand behind everything I do. If there is a problem or an issue, I resolve it for a positive end. Contractors are creatures of habit…if treated fairly and responsively, they’ll stay loyal.”

Gerald Skwier, sole proprietor

Monarch Kitchen and Bath

Salisbury, MD

 

"We are very hands on. The sale comes at the end of the process, after all decisions and costs have been determined, so there are no changes and no surprises. The downside is that the process takes a long time.”

Chris Donaghy, managing owner

Kitchen Brokers

Lorton, VA

 

"I believe in high-quality communication. Every detail is viewed and discussed. Problems are dealt with prior to the order being placed, eliminating possible dissatisfaction.”

Kathleen Carr, CKD, owner

Tuesday’s Interiors

Cedaredge, CO

 

"Our corporate culture is and always will be to make our clients raving fans. We under promise and over deliver. We always expect 9s and 10s on our surveys. We expect a 100% willingness to refer. We are a team with our employees, as well as subs and vendors. Our employees’ compensation is based on results.”

Larry J. Sandles, v.p.

SandStar Companies

Punta Gorda, FL

 

"I am personally involved in all projects. My business relies primarily on customer references, so customer satisfaction is paramount.”

Rick Cafiero, designer/president

Designing Kitchens and More

Satellite Beach, FL

 

"I oversee every job and make sure my clients are totally satisfied with every aspect of the completed project.”

Rena Lipkind, CMKBD

Kitchen and Bath Designs of Virginia

Chester, VA

 

"I always respond and stay in regular communication with clients. If they know I’ve not left them hanging, that someone is taking care of things, clients tend to remain happy.”

Vawn Greany, CKD, CBD

lead designer/owner

Collaborative Interiors

Seattle, WA

 

"We listen before we act. There’s nothing more important than consistent and accurate communication. The goals and budget for each project need to be established before the project starts. All projects that start on the correct path end with success.”

Mark Amos, partner/designer

M&M Design Studio

Cincinnati, OH

 

"We are advocates of clear communication with our customers. With the amount of revisions some projects require, it’s important for clients to understand what the final project is and what they should expect for their designs. We also educate our customers on everything from characteristics of wood and natural stone to proper clearances in a kitchen layout. When clients are informed of these things, and understand why a particular design works best for them, there is less chance of a problem down the road.”

Mary Skurecki

kitchen/bath designer

MacLaren Fabrication

West Chester, PA

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