By REMODELING Magazine Staff Mark Henson, Estimator, Medina Construction, Salina, Kan.
Our post-construction meetings reflect the company's informal style. On larger jobs, the owner, Bill Medina, meets with the clients. On smaller jobs and when I'm the salesperson, I'll meet with them. We thank the clients for their business and give them a design reference manual that lists the style numbers and colors of all the products used on the project. It also includes contact information for our company and the subcontractors who worked on their house. The manual helps us, for example, if the customer calls about a light burned out in a bedroom. We can look in the manual and order the light and replace it and we're looked at as the heroes. We don't have a written warranty, but we tell them during the meeting that we'll take care of any problems that arise. We don't ask them for referrals during the meeting, but we do continue to touch base to make sure they're happy.
Mike Owings, President, Owings Brothers Contracting, Eldersburg, Md.
We don't conduct post job meetings in person. After months with crews in their house, we like to give our clients breathing room. My brothers are on the production side -- they nurture the client relationship during construction. They use their judgement to smooth any problems as the project is coming to a close.
If the client is having a rough time during the process, we'll send them flowers or a restaurant certificate. It's not until after the final payment that we send the warranty packet with a customer survey, product warranties, business cards, and contact information. The folder has a large photo of the finished project on the cover, as well as photos inside the folder of the house before and during construction.
Dan Kliethermes, President, Kliethermes Homes and Remodeling, Columbia, Mo.
To keep your business alive and growing, you have to have a post-construction meeting. I use them to reconnect with the client and remind them about referrals. The meetings usually take about one hour. I carefully go over the "customer quality audit" and explain how the survey helps us evaluate our performance. I tell them about the emergency service request form. We ask the homeowner to fill this out and send it to us after they call a supplier or sub for an emergency. It helps track recurring problems with subs. I also explain our warranty service request form. They submit that to our office so we can take care of any non-emergency items. I give them a packet that includes procedures for each of the situations, as well as magnets and business cards for referrals. I do all this because I want the community to think of us as the builder of choice.