What You Can Expect
I only have one phone – my cell phone. I never turn it off. I answer it wherever I am – even if it’s just to say I’m currently with a customer and will have to return the call in a few minutes – and I always do.
Usually I can come to your house that day if you’ll be home, or whenever it’s convenient for you. Given a preference, however, I’d rather see you at 7:00 AM rather than 7:00 PM (I have a life, you know).
Frequently I can quote a price on the spot – even though I will always follow up with a detailed written quotation.
My quotes are all done in Microsoft Word, on a Mac, and I e-mail them to you, usually that evening. (I don’t have that much a life!) Because I’m operating on a Mac, The odds are you’ll get a ‘Hole in One’ or bowl a 300 game before you’ll get a virus from my attachments. Along with the bid, I then send our annual list of references for your use.
I don’t bug you for a response to our bid – If you’re comparing our price and references to that of other contractors – you’ll need a little time and space to do that. Often, though, the customer and I will furiously e-mail back and forth clarifying the bid details and a tentative scheduling.
Once we settle on the job and the price – yes, I do negotiate a bit when necessary – I confirm everything, by amended bid, phone or e-mail, a few days before we’re scheduled to start.
The opening gambit is always the same: everyone shows up at your house at the appointed time. I introduce the crew that will be working on your project and we all review the job together. This is so the crew leader can hear – directly from you – all your instructions and concerns, Often customers will, add or delete, or otherwise modify a few things from the original agreement. Also, the crew leader may see things we didn’t and ask pertinent questions about the job.
This is the time we all come to a common understanding concerning your project so we never have to deal with beleaguered expectations, unnecessary confusion or last minute, “But, but, but, naturally I thought you were going to…”. As one of those ancient Greeks once said, “A problem well defined is half solved”. Depending on the complexity of the job, we might review it with you several times or even on a daily basis – to assure that we’re still on track with your expectations.
As we near the end of the job, but are not quite finished, we want to get with you again for a final review. There is nothing quite so disheartening for the crew as a customer who waits until we are loading the truck to leave, before telling us of a problem he/she’s been stewing over for a few days. All this communication and review is designed to prevent such a thing happening. The final inspection with the customer, should be, and usually is high-spirited. Sure, nothing’s perfect, and we often find last minute small flaws or defects to fix. But, because of our constant request for feedback, the big problems never arise.
Then it’s time to get paid. We accept payment by personal check, Visa or MasterCard. Occasionally, we offer thirty-day terms, but unless an emergency has arisen, we need to consider this at the time of the bidding process so we can manage our cash flow over the credit period.
Sometimes customers are so pleased with the results they offer themselves as references or refer us to their friends or family. This is the source of the vast majority of our business. Perhaps, that’s how you came to know us!