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Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Customer Service Myths Debunked | Courtesy of Salesforce

We've all heard that no news is good news. But is this really true when it comes to customer service and complaints? 

Apparently not.

According to an infographic published by Salesforce, just because you're not hearing complaints, that doesn't mean your clients are pleased as punch with every aspect of your service. 

The data tackles five common misconceptions about what complaints really mean to your business and bottom line.  

Myth #1- Most customers complain when they encounter an issue.
Fact #1- Less than 25% complain when they have an issue. 

Perhaps because their voices are often the loudest, we only remember the complainers (not the silent masses), making them seem like a much higher percentage of the overall client populous. But in actuality, 70-90% of your clientele could be suffering in silence, which in the end benefits no one. 

Myth #2- More complaints = Spending more to clean up the messes
Fact #2-  Most (80%) of customer service calls can be resolved within minutes

Myth #4- More calls = Lower Profits
Fact #4-  ROI for resolved complaints is 100% or more

No we didn't skip numbers just to be annoying. Myths #2 and 4 have the similar thread in that these misconceptions deal with the bottom line- what are customer complaints costing you in dollars and cents. 

And the answer is, they don't. More complaints don't mean less money in the bank nor do they require more money shelled out to put out fires. The cost of resolving most customer complaints is minimal while the return on investment of a satisfactorily resolved issue is extremely high.

Myth #3- Fewer calls = Stellar service and happier overall clientele
Fact #3-  Less complaints can actually mean a large pool of silent sufferers

This seemingly counter intuitive fact is worth repeating, again and again. Just because you're not getting customer service calls/complaints does not mean you're clientele are satisfied with your service. It just means there's a greater likelihood they're suffering in silence. So free-flowing and frequent communication with clients is imperative to gauging their overall satisfaction. Also, don't be hesitant to contract third party surveyor, such as GuildQuality, to generate more accurate and honest client feedback.

Myth #5- It's better to invest in marketing/advertising than customer service
Fact #5-  It costs 5x as much to win a new client as keep an existing one

While marketing and advertising are often heralded as the lifeblood a business, with terms like lead generation, SEO, and click through rates being hurled at us daily, there's no denying Fact #5- the hard cost of generating a new client is FIVE times as much as maintaining a current one.  And the best way to retain an existing client is to LISTEN to what they have to say, both positive and negative comments.  Granted, no one likes getting feedback, especially considering the term feedback has become almost analogous with complaints or negative reviews. But we just have to suck it up, swallow our pride, dig deep and whatever else needed to power through. By listening and resolving client complaints, we not only learn something that can be used to improve the overall function of our business, but we also gain a loyal and trustworthy cheerleader. Truly satisfied clients spreading the word about your business are the most welcome and effective means of advertising, that will result in referrals and increased business for years to come! 

See the entire salesforce blog article here >>

Monday, October 21, 2013

Kitchen Trends for Fall

A recent study by Houzz gives us a glimpse into fall trends in kitchen remodeling, which are leaning heavily towards counter replacements and full renovations.  And of those planning a new kitchen, almost half are planning to completely gut it and start from scratch. This is of course good news for remodelers everywhere, who are hoping to play an integral role in these kitchen transformations. 

And why are people planning to remodel their kitchens? To get the most enjoyment out of their home. Twice as many respondents (79%) reported that it was to improve the look and feel rather than to increase value at resale (38%). These types of renovations will be more personalized, improving the function and flow, upgrading appliances and adding much needed storage. Rather than an upgrade to boost monetary value, these upgrades will boost experiential value, which is truly priceless.

With just over 50% wanting to upgrade appliances, it's no surprise Houzz has info on the most coveted appliances on everyone's fall renovation dream list. And this year's wish list is catered to the chef's delight, with Chef's Stove and Double Ovens topping the list. And with more kitchen designs shifting to larger, more modern lower drawer storage, specialty drawer appliances for warming, refrigeration, and cleaning are being integrated into the layout. 

And of these dream appliances, it appears Stainless Steel is still king, with 65% of survey participants choosing to incorporate SS appliances into their kitchen reno. Stainless steel has long been the finish of choice for those looking to upgrade their appliances as it is just as at home in a contemporary as in a traditional kitchen. A less common but very high end trend is to incorporate the appliances into the cabinetry for a seamless effect. 

Looking to update your kitchen with stainless steel appliances, increased storage, or a more open floorplan? Contact us << Key Residential >> to discuss your upcoming project!!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Understanding the Construction Process | New Home Building

So you’re ready to start construction on your new home. Fantastic!

So what happens next? Below is an infographic we've created to give an overview of the basic steps of a new home construction. The process and timeline can vary greatly, depending on your specific design, location, budget, and many other factors.  However, hopefully this will give you an idea of what to expect and a better understanding of exactly where your hard earned dollar is going, and why.

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

A Dallas Master Bedroom's Rustic Renovation | Before & After

This University Park whole home remodel is certainly unique and filled with character, however a true appreciation comes from seeing the transformation process from before to after. We've included a few before pics and process diagrams that will hopefully make the end result even more breathtaking in comparison. 

Major Changes:

*  Removing existing (aka boring) flat ceiling and vaulting it into the attic beneath the gable roofline 

*Adding custom designed structural beams with hand distressed finish

*  New  B-Vent Fireplace with Coronado Stone round creek rock facade and custom wood mantle

* Replacing the carpeting with reclaimed barn wood flooring by Appalachian Woods (natural color, clear finish)

Design: Becci Meier, Architectural Design Service
The raised ceiling and added architectural detailing dramatically increase the spaciousness of the master bedroom without making it overwhelming, while the addition of the warm wood floors and fireplace add to the character of the new space. Vintage, reclaimed, and re-purposed furniture, lighting, doors, and decorative accents complete the eclectic and rustic look. 

Major Changes:

* The vaulted ceiling is continued in the adjacent master bath, with beams  highlighting the new recessed entry  into the master bath.

* The beams' distressed finish was achieved by hand marring & scraping (ex: with axes, chisels, etc) the solid rough beams before installation, then applying multiple coats of paint.

*  The wall finish  is a tinted hard plaster coating that must be applied one wall at a time to prevent drying out. Each batch is infused with powdered color that is precisely hand measured and mixed to achieve a uniform color throughout. This technique requires patience, working with the right craftsman until  you achieve exactly what you are looking for.  

Design: Becci Meier, Architectural Design Service

So what can we take away from the before and after snapshot of this remodel project?  Dream, and dream big. Don't feel limited by the constraints of your existing space. With the right amount of planning and quality craftsmanship, almost anything is possible. And do your research to assemble the best team of professionals (ex: designer, architect, builder, specialty tradesmen) possible, to ensure it all goes off without a hitch!