You might think it’s odd for a company that designs and installs customized kitchens and baths to hire a key employee whose background is in hotel management. But that’s exactly what Markraft Cabinets did when we created a new customer service coordinator position earlier this year.
We were looking for somebody with a hospitality background to be our main point of contact with our customers after the sale. Hiring an expert in cabinets and countertops was less important to us than getting a person in place who understands what needs to be done to solve a customer’s problems.
The right person can learn the parts and pieces. But not just anybody will be good at helping customers to solve problems.
Like any business, we try hard to get every job right. But it’s inevitable: things will break; mistakes happen. Successful businesses learn it’s often how you correct those problems that makes the biggest impression on a customer.
We’re successful because of what we do after the sale – after the work is done, after the bills are paid. That may run contrary to how some companies may think, because our customer service coordinator, and her three full-time service technicians, are not generating a lot of revenue.
And in our business, once we’ve finished a job that customer may not need our services again for another 10, 15 or 20 years.
But our customers have friends, and neighbors, and relatives. And you can bet that they’ll tell everyone they know if they’ve had a good experience with a contractor, or a bad one. If we’ve completely satisfied them, when they’re having a get-together at their home, they'll be showing off their new kitchens or bathrooms and recommending Markraft.
Once any job is complete, it’s the customer service coordinator’s job to help the homeowner with any service or warranty issues. If a door gets damaged or a hinge breaks, for example, she’ll order the parts and send one of our service technicians to make the repair.
Our service techs, by the way, are experienced installers. We picked them for this important duty because they’re also good with homeowners. They can answer questions and don’t get flustered when the customer is looking over their shoulders while they work.
Before we created the customer service coordinator position, our warehouse handled the service and warranty work. As the economy and the pace of construction have improved, we decided this follow-up work needed full-time attention, instead of being an afterthought to somebody else’s job.
And even though we’re paying another salary, we’re already saving money with this new position. One thing that gets expensive in our business is those jobs that drag on because a component didn’t get shipped or a part was damaged. We’re at the mercy of our suppliers that way. So instead of keeping our installer teams tied up or leaving a customer’s job unfinished, the key is to focus on the bottleneck. The customer service coordinator will place the rush orders needed to wrap up those jobs, saving us time and money, and keeping our customers happy.
I’m always happy to answer any questions about what we can do for you, in your home or for your business. Watch for more tips about how to enhance your home’s value and convenience!
Cee Edwards is President and General Manager of Markraft Cabinets. He joined the company in 1995. Since 1985, Markraft has specialized in cabinet and countertop design and installation in residential and commercial construction and custom remodeling. To learn more about Markraft, go to www.markraft.com. Contact Cee at 910-762-1986. Like Markraft on Facebook at www.facebook.com/markraftcabinets or follow Cee on Twitter at twitter.com/CeeEdwards.
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