Tag Archives: home improvements

Results In From Last Poll on Topic: Customer Servivce- Dated February 18, 2014

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Results are in from our last poll asking our followers: Customer Service-How Important Is It To You As A Customer?

Out Of 100 Surveyed:

37% of our voters answered: Yes, Very Important

45% of our voters answered: Doesn’t really Matter As Long As The Price Is Reasonable

18% of our voters answered: I Feel Like Customer Service Doesn’t Exists in Today’s Society Anymore.

Thanks for participating.  Don Of All Trades Professional Home Maintenance Services welcomes your comments!

For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/donofalltrades.info

Twitter – https://twitter.com/donofalltrade

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/donofalltrades Continue reading →

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Customer Service-Powerful Tool

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The majority of the public work hard and long hours in this country. The weekends come and go. For some of us the weekends are the days of catching up and getting errands done at home. There’s just never seems to be enough time to get things done and to really enjoy and relax on the weekends. It’s no wonder some of us are tired and seem miserable. For some companies in retail for example, weekends are the 2 days they rely on for the best sales and profits. When I go into a store to shop, I’m not thinking about the store’s sales increases. First thing on my mind as a customer is to get in and get out. I don’t have the patience for long lineups and poor customer service. I know once I’m done I have to load and unload my vehicle once I get home and get everything put away. Been there. Done that. One more thing off the list.

New outlets of advertising a businesses is always changing. Avenues like social media, internet and you tube for example are just a few tools to name to get your brand out there to the world. Bottom line though, Customer Service will always remain the same and should be considered a #1 priority on your list in any business. How you practice Customer Service skills can create a positive or negative impact on your business. Below are a few tips and ideas on how to improve your customer service skills to get the best results in your business.

Always Greet Your Customers

So at 8am in the morning, your customers are the first person they see to the start of their day. You as an employee or store owner could just make that customer’s day so much better and take some of the anxiety away by just simply greeting your customers. Nothing makes someone feel better than actually being noticed with a pleasant “Good Morning!” or “How are you today?”  I’ve experienced customers getting actually “thrown off guard” and looking behind them thinking you’re talking to someone else, when in fact you’re talking to them! It makes a person feel comfortable and important. It’s a wonderful feeling knowing that your organization was a truly great experience for them and will come back over and over again.

 

Treat Your Customers With Respect

Always remember to treat your customers with respect. These are the people who pay you, your employees and the bills! Treat them like they are your guests. Provide great customer service. Make them feel that they can come to you if they need any assistance, have any questions or concerns about a product or service. There is never such a thing as a bad question. If you don’t have an answer for them, let them know that you will find someone who can! Go above and beyond.

Talk and Chat With Your Customers

Over the years I’ve made it a mission to get to know our customers by name. Building a relationship with our customers is one of my top priorities. You’d be amazed how much a customer is willing to tell you about themselves. Hey, they are human beings too just like everyone else. Your customers will come back to you time and time again and refer your business to others because that special relationship and pleasant experience. Wouldn’t you want to be somewhere where everyone knows your name? Doing a simple gesture as chatting with a customer can be a very powerful tool. It can let an owner know about how well their businesses is doing and or any improvements and suggestions that can be made to improve it.

Interact With Customers In A Related Way

Again interacting with your customer can give an owner important information about their organization. Your customers are the best critics of your business. Every day in the land of running a  business presents its own and unique challenges. Invite positive or negative feedback. Putting up a “suggestion” box in an area of your business is a great way to get your customers involved. This can give them a sense of involvement in your organization. Sure you may find some negative feedback but use this as an avenue on how you can improve your business. This is what’s going to make your business stand out from the competition. Act on them in a timely fashion. Deal with complaints in a quick and professional manner. There’s always going to be an unhappy customer in any organization but it’s how you deal with them and their issues that can make the difference of getting that customer’s issues resolved with a positive conclusion at the end of the day. Learn how to listen to your customers concerns or bad experience. Then act on them. It’s all about doing the “right thing.”

Turn Up To Work With A Positive Attitude

Customers pick on your attitude. Leave your personal issues at home. We all have bad days at work but no one will notice it more than your customers. If you are a business owner, learn to treat your employees with respect and acknowledge their accomplishments. Letting them know what a great job they are doing will uplift their spirits and make them feel appreciated and will work harder for you. When your staff are happy, they’ll come to work with a positive attitude and the customers will see this. Issues at work should be dealt in a professional matter in the appropriate place like your supervisor’s office or Human Resources Department.  There’s nothing worse than hearing staff complain about issues while your customers are shopping or using your services. It makes it a negative impact on the business and bad experience for the customer. People don’t want to be around miserable people and it’s not professional.

Understand Your Customers Needs

Every customer is unique and important. If you are in the grocery retail chain business, you may have a client that has a peanut  allergy and requires peanut free products that you don’t carry but the competition does. What would you do? Here’s a great example of understanding your customers needs. If it’s possible, perhaps you could possibly find out where these particular products are sold and see if you could  find a supplier that can carry them in your store. This suites your customers needs and will ensure they will be coming to your location for this particular product. Simple little solutions like this can make a customer feel important and give them reassurance knowing that you are there for “them.”

Discover The Impact You Have Around Customers

I remember a situation where I had a regular customer come in one morning. He came in to buy a particular bread that we baked every morning for his wife who was at home extremely sick. He was anxious to get home. I couldn’t give him the bread as it was still baking and would require some time to cool down before I could place them in plastic bags along with the label. Really there was nothing I could do. He was so persistent and getting upset. Because I have such strong customer service skills, I  asked him if he lived very far. He was surprised I asked this question. He replied about 5 minutes away. I offered a solution. I made a deal with him. Once the bread was ready I would personally purchase the bread come to the house on my break and deliver it to him and his wife. He was shocked that I would do something like this. He thanked me so much and said he would come back later. 2 weeks later he came back to the store with his wife and other family members. He introduced me to his wife and wanted to personally thank me for the nice gesture I offered. It was a wonderful feeling and whenever they came in to shop they always came to see me or request for me to help them with any assistance. Sadly to say, his wife passed away. To this day I will always remember the opportunity of meeting this wonderful man and his wife. So as the title says: Discover The Impact You Have Around Customers. In this case I feel these customers had more of an impact on me that day then the other way  around.

Excite Your Customers About Your Products

It’s always exciting when a business  has a new product or service that a customer can benefit from. Don’t keep it a secret. Let everyone know about it. Do research and education your staff on it so that they all have a better understanding. This way they can communicate back to the customer. Whenever we have a special offer, I can’t wait to tell the world about it. You’re customers pick up on that excitement and interest and will want to know more about it and tell their friends and family about it. Great deals or campaigns can be advertised via so many avenues today. Social Media, Campaigns, Emails, Flyers , Newspapers or Store Front Signs are some great ways to advertise. Customers can’t wait to tell others about a New Product they benefited from!

 

For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/donofalltrades.info

Twitter – https://twitter.com/donofalltrade

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/donofalltrades Continue reading →

Is There Such A Thing As A “Complimentary Consultation?” And Does “Complimentary” Mean Free?

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Free Complimentary Consultations-Advantages:

Providing a complimentary consultation is a huge advantage  not only to the company offering this service but to the client as well. In the industry of Home Improvement/Home Maintenance Services, complimentary consultations are viewed favorably by our customers.  In most cases the general public is always looking for a bargain and at the best price possible for any product or service offered. Satisfied clients with a particular service or product  will spread the word about the incredible value they received. This could result in an increase in sales for any company. By implementing an offer as simple as a complimentary consultation,  you could see a potential  increase in the number of  interested prospects  contacting Home Improvement/Maintenance Services in search of a good deal. This could be even more beneficial than positive word of mouth from satisfied clients.

Free Complimentary Consultations-Disadvantages:

The advantages of providing free consultations must be weighed against the disadvantages. First, the potential client seeking a complimentary consultation may be Renovation or Home Improvement shopping—contacting many  contractors and meeting with them to determine who would be the best fit or perhaps the “cheapest”. Even if the contractor devotes substantial time to the complimentary consultation and answers all of the potential client’s questions, the potential client might still comment along the lines of, “I need to think about it, I have 2 more contractors coming to give an estimate—I’ll contact you at a later date.” Beware. Potential clients who look for the “cheapest” quote  may in fact not be getting the best deal in the end.  In these cases, the  contractor will not recoup the lost income for time spent during the free consultation.

Conclusion:

Remember, the commodity that contractors  sell is experience and knowledge—their opinion and expertise regarding a client’s project. Contractors  who offer complimentary consultations are giving away their commodity to that potential client.

And even if the complimentary  consultation does result in a new client, it might not be the type of client that the contractor wants. All Home Improvement and Home Maintenance Organizations want their companies to succeed  and make a profit. If a client contacts a contractor  based on the complimentary consultation, will the client be willing to pay for the contractors future work and time? And if the client is willing to pay for the initial retainer fee, will the client pay fees exceeding that retainer? These questions are difficult to answer—but contractors need to consider them all the same.

Let’s Talk – Caulk

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So you’ve the done the rounds and investigated all the areas around your home and have come across some drafts around your windows and doors. Now what? It’s time to talk-caulk. Caulking is a wonderful product with a multitude of purposes around the home. Caulk can be used to fill gaps in almost any material. Caulk gives a nice finished look to your bathroom tub and kitchen sink, to toping of baseboard to trim or finishing imperfections in crown moulding. And the list goes on. Don t’ get overwhelmed by the many different types of caulk at your local home improvement store. Below is a list of caulk available and tips for which caulk you should use for improvements around your home.

So What Is Caulk? 

 Caulk is a kind of sealing material that is used to form a hard coating on a porous surface (as a coat of paint or varnish used to size a surface. The function of caulking is to provide thermal insulation, control water penetration. This is mostly done with ready-mixed construction chemicals sold as caulk such as silicone, polyurethane, polysulfide,  sylil-terminated-polyether or polyurethane and acrylic sealant. Unlike construction caulk, which is applied where no building movement is expected, a sealant is made of elastomeric materials that typically allow movement of 25% to 50% of the width of the joint. Silicone sealants form a durable, water-tight seal, but are not typically paintable. Some silicone sealants are made to be paintable with certain types of paint such as water or oil-based paints. Other sealants are paintable

One-component sealants are commonly sold in cartridges which are loaded into a pistol-like caulking gun (opening at the side) or barrel gun (opening at the end) for application. During the tool-working time, which varies by chemistry, the bead can be pressed into the joint so that it can bond with the materials on both sides, and also be smoothed. The time it takes for a chemical sealant to become a rubber is known as the curing time and varies by temperature and humidity. Issues of technique that may not be obvious to first-time users.

Deciding Which Caulk To Use?

Before you purchase caulk, consider these few  key factors that will  play an important role in helping you decide the right “caulk” for the job.

Interior or Exterior?- Note: Some caulk are specifically designed for indoor or out-door use only. Depending on your project, you may want to look into purchasing an indoor or out-door caulk.

How Hard Is It To Apply?  Running out of caulk while you’re working on your project is not a good thing. There are some caulk that are much easier to apply than others. Keep in mind your level of caulk expertise and come back with that 3rd tube of caulk that is now hard to apply.

Temperature Something To Consider: Consider the temperature in the place where you are going to put the caulk.  Some types of caulk can withstand extreme temperatures while others can’t.  This can severely affect performance.

-Moisture: Be aware that some caulk are uniquely designed to be installed in high moisture areas e.g.: bathrooms. Using the wrong caulk could impact its adhesion, durability and performance.

Different Types Of Caulk:

Polyurethane Caulk

This type of caulk is the best for almost any application, but it can be difficult to use and requires mineral spirits to clean up. It can be painted.

Elastomeric Caulk

This type of caulk is an excellent choice for most porous surfaces because of its flexibility and adhesion properties, its ease of use and water clean up.

Latex Caulk

Although it tends to be less expensive, latex caulk will harden when exposed to the elements so its durability is questionable and it’s not the best choice for exterior surfaces.

Siliconized Acrylic Caulk

The most popular caulk and easiest to use, this is a good choice for most applications.

Synthetic Rubber Caulk

Known for excellent adhesion, the ability to stretch and recover and for mildew resistance.

Butyl Caulk There are numerous problems with butyl caulk. They’re difficult to use, dry slowly, require solvent clean up and have a tendency to shrink excessively and harden and crack quite prematurely.
Within each category of caulk, look for one with a 50 year warranty. It’s worthwhile to pay a little more for a better grade of caulk.

Doing the Work
Once you’ve chosen the right caulk, make sure that the surface you’re applying it to is clean. If the old caulk has failed, scrape it out and wipe the area with a damp cloth to remove dirt or residue. Make sure the surface is clean and dry so that the new caulk will adhere properly. Weather conditions are important as a water-based sealant can’t be used when it’s wet outside and if it’s too cold, a water-based caulk won’t cure. Read the label. Check required drying time. Some caulk can be painted with a water-based paint within four hours, but you must wait twenty-four hours to use an oil-based product, including a primer. Read the label. Sometimes the caulk will shrink, making a second application necessary. Read the label to determine how long you must wait to  re-caulk.

Prepare the tube for use by cutting the tip at a 45° angle. If you’re using a water-based product, have a bucket of water and a cloth at hand. Apply the caulk in a continuous and even bead with no gaps. For the best appearance, lightly wet your index finger and smooth the bead.

Choosing the right caulk may not be an exciting topic, but it’s one that’s well worth knowing something about.

Don Of All Trades asks: What is most Important to You as a Customer, when planning on hiring a contractor for your home improvement needs?

For more information or to post a comment : please visit our links below:

Website – http://www.donofalltrades.ca/

Facebook – https://www.facebook.com/donofalltrades.info

Twitter – https://twitter.com/donofalltrade

LinkedIn – http://www.linkedin.com/in/donofalltrades