“Not everybody has remodeling jobs done,” says Steve Zarndt, owner of Re-Bath of Illinois. “Our competition is really the companies where people have had great experiences, whether it’s at Nordstrom’s, Disney World, or the Hyatt, or the Four Seasons.”
Accordingly, the company’s customer satisfaction system includes a minimum of nine communication points. That includes thank-you notes sent after any in-person visits, a phone call when the job is handed off from sales to production, and an in-person visit from sales a few weeks after the job is completed. Since the franchise’s average job is about 50 miles away, that last requirement makes for some extra travel, but Zarndt says it’s worthwhile to make sure that customers are happy and for the referrals that happiness brings.
Re-Bath of Illinois handles most of the unlicensed trades work and even does its own plumbing; only electrical work is routinely subbed. Occasionally a larger job will be subbed out as well, if Zarndt determines that another contractor can do the job more efficiently. “[We’re] always keeping an eye on how can we produce a job faster yet contain our costs,” Zarndt says. “The client wants speed, choice, and convenience.” That means not only getting in and out quickly, but communicating well.
A customer advocate handles phone calls when customers have a problem. “It used to be part of the production department, but that’s like having a fox in the henhouse,” Zarndt says. “If you have an issue, you want to know that somebody cares about taking care of it quickly. It has meant a lot to the people. They know we believe in our mantra of an exceptional experience every time.”
Zarndt is a past president of the Metro Decatur Home Builders Association (a National Association of Home Builders affiliate) and remains closely involved. His daughter, Sara Zarndt-Brickey (who owns 15% of the company), is president-elect of the Metro Decatur Home Builders Association.
- Zarndt, Zarndt-Brickey, and the franchise’s five sales consultants are certified aging-in-place specialists. “We’re all in tune to mobility issues and safety,” Zarndt says.
- Zarndt offers clients a lifetime supply of Re-Bath’s proprietary cleaning product. Each quarter, clients can come into one of the franchise’s offices to get a free bottle. It keeps the company on the customer’s mind.