Putting ourselves in our customers’ shoes has served us well for more than 30 years — especially for one recent install of a basement floor that had its share of hiccups.

The customer chose a very dark-stained pre-finished oak floor. As he unpacked the planks from their boxes, our carpenter immediately noticed several very light, almost natural, floorboards mixed into the boxes. The homeowner was not happy.

We could have easily used the flooring manufacturer’s disclaimers to get the owner to use the floor as it came, which would relieve us of all responsibility. But we all agreed that the lighter boards were not acceptable.

We called the supplier and the manufacturer to see if they would work with us to make our customer happy. Unfortunately, they stood by their disclaimers and would not budge. So we incurred the extra cost and purchased additional flooring, weeded out the light boards, and installed a fairly consistent dark-stained oak floor. The homeowner was not just elated but has become a repeat customer. Not so for that uncooperative supplier.

—Scott McClurg is the founder and president of McClurg Remodeling & Construction Services, in Marcellus, N.Y., which uses GuildQuality  surveys to monitor customer satisfaction.