Customer Service Done Right

By: Conrad Neuf , Contributing Writer
In: Old Houses, Old House Construction, Home Improvement Tips, Old House Musings, In The News

I’ve been working on prepping the exterior of my old house for paint and while I’ve had colors in mind, I still wasn’t sure of what brand of paint to use. I’ve been a Duron person for many years, but I had read some good things about Benjamin Moore’s high end exterior paint, saw that a local hardware store carried it, and have been trying various samples. The lady at the paint counter has been exceptional to work with and has gone out of her way to be helpful. I have no doubt that I will purchase all of my exterior paint at the store and probably start shopping there on a regular basis due to her customer service.

Progress!

Progress!

It seems like practicing good customer service should be standard operating procedure for any company, but for some reason it doesn’t always happen that way. One of the reasons I’ve shopped at Amazon and L.L.Bean for many years is because of their excellent customer service, and evidently other people think they’re pretty good as well; Amazon was voted #1 in online retailing customer satisfaction by a Businessweek survey in 2009 and L.L Bean made #1 this year. I just read today that Amazon’s third quarter profits were up 16 percent, which is pretty good for any retailer in what is still a difficult economy. I contrast these companies to my cell phone provider: I recently spent over an hour on the phone to them, just trying to reach a live person .

Good Customer Service Equals Repeat Customers

While working in construction management I often had new customers ask for me by name due to the customer service I provided their to their friends for whom I’d built new homes or managed remodeling projects. It always made me feel like I was doing my job right and representing my company well, especially when there were customers who were pretty difficult or tried to take advantage of my efforts. I also tried to hire sub-contractors who believed in going above and beyond for customers, even if knew I could find someone else who would do the work for less.

Performing Like a Champ

Performing Like a Champ

If you’re hiring a general contractor to handle the restoration of your old house, or you’re just hiring a hardwood flooring contractor to refinish your floors, remember that price isn’t everything and how well the job turns out may depend on how much the company believes in good customer service.

Good Old House Sander

Speaking of good companies I wanted to recommend Porter Cable’s 333VS orbital sander; it has performed without a hitch while doing my old house exterior paint prep. I’ve had it for a number of years, but it’s really gotten a workout over the last couple of weeks. I believe the newer model is the 343VS.

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