Two Customer Service Challenges


I needed my kitchen floor done – we had tile in the kitchen for nearly 10 years and it was time to get some red oak wood floors installed. I asked some of my friends who made some recommendations. After some conversations and reviews, we settled on someone. Things went fairly well except for one part of the kitchen where the floor is slightly raised. After calling a number of times, we had the owner pay us and the floor a visit and before he said anything, he scratched his head and looked perplexed. Non verbal communication is grand when it’s clearly understood. He recommended dispatching his red oak specialist (and lead installer) to determine why the one section was raised. Thankfully, it took him (Chris) only a few days to arrive and it appeared he must have seen the movie of the owner’s response as it was a head scratcher to him too. He took some moisture measurements with his moisture meter tool and they appeared high although he could not determine where the moisture was coming from. Just to collect additional information, he took moisture readings of another red oak floor which had been installed about 10 years ago. Similar readings between the old and new installs. I didn’t mean to add a level of perplexity to the situation although I may have succeeded.

Chris said he’d pay another visit the 3rd or 4th week of September. I asked him if he wanted me to remind him in early October and he said that will not be a problem as he won’t forget. I asked him a second time — giving him one more opportunity to be reminded and he confidently shook his head that he’d take the initiative in September.


Frequent Challenges with Contractors

It’s October 14 today and I’ve still not heard from Chris. Customer focused? I know he’s busy with other jobs and I may not be a priority, however, he repeatedly stated that he’d call in late September. Regardless, I will need to call him soon to remind him in spite of what he had said about 1 and 1/2 months ago. Can’t you take anyone at their word anymore?


My wife is moving into a new office in the next few weeks. She needs to hire a carpet guy to remove the old and install new carpet. She wanted to go with a local carpet installer although the carpet process ordering may take up to 3 weeks. My wife didn’t have that much time. So she went with Plan B. She knew another carpet guy who could have the carpets delivered within 2 days. That piqued her interest so she went with him after receiving a recommendation from a business colleague

However, 2 days turned into 5 days. At some point, you wonder if it wasn’t a better choice to go with Plan A? Anyway, she budgeted in extra days as she’s worked with contractors before. The carpeting did arrive after about one week, it’s time for the removal and install. The same carpet guy said he’ll remove and install the day after the carpeting had arrived. A few more days before the removal takes place and a few more days (and some follow up) before the carpet is installed.

It reminds me of a provider or contractor committing to something tomorrow and tomorrow arrives and the task will be done the next day (which is tomorrow) or the day after tomorrow and eventually things may get done. Is it fun when you experience a lack of customer centric support? Does it sometimes feel like a roller coaster dealing with contractors?

When you hire contractors, should you not look at service, reputation and competency more than price? Indeed, price is important although is it time well spent if you save 40% if the project is delayed considerably or not done right? Would it be wise not to allow the allure of price persuade you from going with contractors or providers who may cost you time or headaches in the long run.