Remodelers sending out customer satisfaction surveys always ask, “Are you likely to recommend us?” But clients can be fickle. Geoff Graham, president of GuildQuality, which does customer satisfaction surveys for the construction industry, discovered that unhappy clients often turn around and some happy clients, over time, are less satisfied. —Stacey Freed, senior editor, REMODELING.

GuildQuality considered responses of 0, 1, or 2 to the Likely to Recommend question to be “Unhappy”; responses of 3 were “Moderately Happy”; and responses of 4 were “Happiest.” Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.
GuildQuality considered responses of 0, 1, or 2 to the Likely to Recommend question to be “Unhappy”; responses of 3 were “Moderately Happy”; and responses of 4 were “Happiest.” Percentages may not add up to 100% due to rounding.

Unhappy Customers

This customer feedback was shared with the remodelers who could tackle any issues that may have arisen. “About one-third of the time, it looks like [remodelers] can’t change [a client’s] attitude,” Graham says. But 63% of the time they were able to partially or fully address their customers’ concerns. “Using a survey helps in a big way.”

Generally Happy Customers

This graph shows the same trend as with unhappy customers. But, says Graham, remodelers often accept a moderately happy survey response as a sign that everything is OK. “Yet 19% [of clients] are at risk of being unhappy over the course of the year, and that’s the impression they’ll share with everyone they know.”

Happiest Customers

Why do customers become unhappy? Maybe there was confusion over service and warranty issues, or the punchlist wasn’t fully resolved, Graham says. And there are always people who just won’t be satisfied. Don’t give up: “Just like a sports coach, you need to invest the time in your ‘A’ and ‘B’ players so they continue to be there.”

More REMODELING articles about customer satisfaction:

Client Point-of-View: Set at Ease — top-notch customer service turns an apprehensive couple into clients for life

Do the Right Thing: Remodeling talks to industry leaders about customer satisfaction

Short Report: Asking for feedbackwith a brief online survey