You might think that with the closest competitor 27 miles away customer service would be less of a priority. After all, where else would potential customers go for their countertops – right?
Wrong. At least that’s not the attitude at Classic Marble Design, Inc. in Clinton, OK.
“The first thing we look at is customer service,” says Esther Switzer, Sales Manager for the company. “What can we do to improve the presentation in the showroom or how can we make our installations less intrusive into our customers’ lives?”
Which makes sense when one considers that up to 85% of Classic’s business comes through word of mouth. In fact, the only advertising the company does is with the local radio station and an ad in the Penny News one finds at businesses throughout Western Oklahoma. “We pulled our newspaper ads and stopped participating in the home & garden shows as they did not bring in new jobs,” Switzer says. “Our focus is on improving the customer’s experience. Virtually everyone we do business with eventually returns for an additional project in their kitchen or bathroom.”
Leaving goodies for customers
Customer service is easy to talk about, but much harder to deliver on a consistent basis. One of the things the folks at Classic do to help ensure they are holding up their end of the bargain is to provide a “goody bag” at the end of every job.
“The goody bag has Care & Maintenance information, a gift certificate for $50 when they refer business to us, a survey about how well we performed, a thank-you card and a Scentsy aromatic candle.
The installers love the goody bags because they are expected to pick up a check for the balance at the end of the job. Asking for money is not something a lot of people feel comfortable doing. By the time they walk the customer through the care and maintenance information and go through the other items in the bag it’s generally not a problem to ask for the check.”
Very Good is not enough
The survey provides the company with important feedback on how well they did in delivering on the customer’s expectations. Built into the survey is a system for rating the quality of the total experience, from the initial showroom meeting to the cleanliness of the job after installation is complete.
“We strive for an Excellent rating in every category. Very Good is acceptable, and anything less means we haven’t done our job properly. Should unforeseen challenges arise, we do our best to minimize the impact they have on satisfactory and timely completion of the jobs.”
Located approximately 90 miles west of Oklahoma City, Classic Marble Design, Inc. offers just about anything their customers need for a kitchen or bath installation. In addition to solid surface, cultured marble, granite, laminate and quartz surfacing countertops, the company offers removal services, shower doors, plumbing fixtures and tile. They also provide full plumbing, electric or custom cabinets through their network of sub-contractors.
The company, which is owned by John and Janelle Russell and Brett and Marci Russell, was founded in 1997 and employs 10 people. Most of its business is retail residential, although they do commercial projects as well. Esther Switzer’s husband, Mark, is Operations Manager for the company.
“It’s a real family atmosphere,” Esther says. “We love it here.”
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