Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
Atlanta Design & Build Believes Customer Communication is Key to SuccessMarch 31st, 2015 by
Atlanta Design and Build has been remodeling homes in the Northwest/Metro Atlanta area since 1996. Over the last 19 years, they’ve stuck to their core values – “creative design solutions, high-quality craftsmanship, responsive project management, and exceptional investment value.” The company’s commitment to those values has undoubtedly guided them to success.
We sat down with founder, Dale Contant, to learn more about his business and the value he places on communicating with each and every one of his customers. Presently, Dale is serving as a NARI National Officer, and in 2007 served as President of NARI Atlanta.
According to Dale, you don’t just become a great business owner overnight. “Rewinding the tape back 19 years, a lot of remodeling contractors, like myself, started as carpenters, or workers in the field, and didn’t have the proper education to run a business. A lot of guys who get into this work might be great craftsmen, but not so great as business people.”
Dale shares that what set him apart, and allowed him to take his business to the next level, was “recognizing that we needed outside influence.”
The first thing he did was to remove himself from the field, and into a leadership role. He then hired a consultant to help put processes in place, and began utilizing technology providers like GuildQuality to implement those processes. Those steps allowed Dale to focus on the success of the business as a whole, instead of smaller, individual tasks.
Atlanta Design and Build created this Napa Valley wine cellar right in the heart of Georgia.
While outside influence helped Dale scale the business, he shares that sticking to their core values is key to their success. They’re able to do so only when his team, and his customers, work together and communicate.
“It’s always a good thing when customers are along with us every step of the process. We also find it helpful to understand the best way our customers want to be communicated to – some like emails, some like phone calls, and some even prefer texts.” Finding a way to communicate with customers that works for them ensures that lines of communication are always open and constant.
In order to facilitate some of that client communication, Dale relies on GuildQuality’s customer satisfaction surveying. “When I look at surveys from GuildQuality, we usually have positive comments. It’s also good to have comments that help us see things we need to improve.”
If a customer brings up an area where improvement is needed, Dale and his team respond right away. “90% of the time it’s communication with guys out in the field. If everything is a 4 and we get a 2 in communication, we bring that up immediately with the team.” Gaining access to this feedback in real-time has helped his team address issues, and eliminate future ones.
While this feedback is crucial to understanding his customer’s experience, Dale says that communication throughout the project is what matters. “It is a true testament to our work when we have a conflict in the middle, or end of a project, and we’re able to recover by finishing well. We see that the customer appreciates that through their feedback.”
This project won them a 2013 CotY Award: Residential Kitchen Over $120,000
Another way Atlanta Design and Build uses customer feedback gathered by GuildQuality is to give praise to the team. “We use it to build the confidence and goodwill that comes from a positive review,” says Dale. “We let the project manager and team know as soon as that good feedback comes in, which is great from an internal standpoint.”
Aside from internal uses, Atlanta Design and Build also uses survey feedback in their sales process.
“We include survey responses from GuildQuality in our leave behind portfolio, which is a brochure we leave with our prospects, that includes our information, references, and professional affiliations. We also try and point people back to our GuildQuality page so they can see all of our customer testimonials online.”
When asked why he finds value in investing in customer satisfaction surveying, Dale stated, “I know we get unbiased, unfiltered, real data by having a third-party do it instead of doing it in-house.”
Dale also shared one instance where he received surprising, but helpful, feedback from a survey. “We had one a while back that stung a little because I couldn’t understand why she was so upset. It turns out she was unhappy with the closet supply company she had hired, but it had an influence on us. She never told me this in person, but she did bring it up in the survey, and we would never have known about it if it weren’t for that survey.”
By taking so many steps to ensure that the customer experience is top-notch, Atlanta Design and Build has received some very positive feedback, including a 92% Likely to Recommend Rate. If you’d like to learn more about Atlanta Design and Build, or see their customer satisfaction scores, check out their member profile page.
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