As an installer, your worst enemies are two dreaded four-letter words, “call back.” It is a hit to your productivity, scheduling abilities, and most importantly, your pride. Don’t fret; it does happen to everyone occasionally. How these issues are handled, are what separates the best from the rest, and can either establish you as a true professional, or leave you hungry. A true professional looks upon these times not as a hindrance to their workweek, but rather a second opportunity to ensure a happy customer. The choice is yours.
There are several factors to take into consideration to help prevent the dreaded callback. A pleasant experience on the consumer’s end is going to work in your favor, while a negative overall experience can work against you. Let’s discuss establishing consumer confidence using the “three P’s.”
Be PromptShowing up to the jobsite at 11:30 when the retailer told Mrs. Jones 8 a.m., isn’t a good start to anyone’s day. Remember, once your customers experience begins to go south, it may be very hard to regain that confidence, which is essential to their overall satisfaction.
Be ProfessionalIf one expects to be treated with respect and dignity as a working professional, they must portray, and practice the role. “You never get a chance to make a second first impression” rings very true in this trade.
To a consumer, a professional appearance goes a long way, and makes an important positive first impression. Mrs. Jones just spent $6,000 she’s been saving - foregoing the family’s vacation this year in favor of her new floor covering. Witnessing it being delivered in a rusted and cluttered ‘84 Econoline by what appears to be the city’s ruffians just may ruin her entire experience long before you even get to say hello.
Stories will vary, but flooring is always a major purchase and holds high consumer expectations. Treat your business as a profession, and be the professional.
Be PositiveA positive attitude can be contagious, as well as a negative attitude. Let’s face it, some days this job just isn’t a lot of fun. We may run into unexpected challenges along the way. So while you’re taking the time to correct the one-inch bow that came in your pattern, you’re showing what a professional you are by displaying your skills correcting it, while the guy across town might be boiling over, and complaining. Which of these actions retain the consumer’s confidence you’ve already established?
As mentioned earlier, a call back is a second opportunity to ensure your customers satisfaction. It is very important to be prompt, professional, and once again positive to let your customer know that their concerns are important to you.
Knowing your product is essential to a successful career in any trade, and is no exception to the world of floor covering. Study and memorize the CRI-104 and 105 installation guidelines, and educate yourself on the products you wish to add to your services. All floors were not created equal!
Someone can be an ace mechanic with most tufted goods; yet will very likely botch a flatweave using the same installation techniques. If there is ever a doubt or something new to you, always consult the manufacturer for specific installation instructions before proceeding. New technology is being developed daily, and a top mechanic will seek the education and information to stay on top of his game.
Further, charge accordingly. Being a true professional has a niche market all its own. The bottom rung of the ladder doesn’t set your price, you do. Marketing your skills as a top professional, backing it up with prompt, professional service and top workmanship will create a market all its own.
In the event there is a claim assigned, you shouldn’t throw in the towel just yet. While independent inspectors will likely not comment during the inspection, you may still want to request to be present to point things out and state your case on the issue. Inspection reports are based on facts and evidence observed through field-testing, not guessing or opinions.
Should you find yourself on the losing end of an inspection, and feel the information is incorrect, it is advisable to locate and commission a reputable independent inspector on your own to take a second look at the site, and challenge the report if deemed appropriate.
By following these steps, you will be ensured a long, rewarding career in your chosen trade. Happy flooring!