From the moment a customer calls or walks into Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen, located in Poway, Calif., they are the No. 1 priority.
To create complete customer satisfaction, employees at the company, along with Joe Christenson, owner of Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen, strive to demonstrate the highest level of honesty, integrity and ethics; provide complete understanding and fulfillment of customer expectations; develop total customer satisfaction for value received for the money spent; give customers complete confidence in the quality of services provided; and create strong customer relationships.
The 10,000-sq.ft. showroom, plus warehouse, displays the most current products for the bath and kitchen. Product manufacturers include, but are not limited to, Kohler, Proflo, Blanco, Artisan, Elkay, Oliveri, Moen, HansGrohe and Grohe.
It all started in 1984 when the company, Plumbing Plus, owned by Christenson, and located in Poway, Calif., was selling only product. Customers would come in to purchase what they wanted to install, then they would have to line up contactors or installers on their own to do the installation.
“At this time too many clients were not happy with the installers they were using on their remodel jobs,” says Christenson. “So I decided to get a plumber’s license in 1986, and in 1988 I obtained a general contractor’s license. In 1988 many customers wanted entire bathrooms remodeled, so I hired my first installer.”
Then Christenson decided to open Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen in 1992. As Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen grew, Plumbing Plus added plumbing service and repair to its menu of offerings.
In 2010, Christenson decided to sell Plumbing Plus to Mike DeSilva, and focus solely on Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen.
At this time, Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen has a total of 32 employees, including five project managers, five sales people and 15 installers that work on the remodeling projects.
A customer calls…
Sales, project management and planning all play a role in the customer’s experience from the minute they pick up the phone and call Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen to enquire about a remodel.
According to Christenson, most business comes from people calling the showroom and not walk-ins since the showroom is not a destination business.
“Less than 10% of customers walk into the showroom because of our location, but if that does happen we ask them what kind of project are they interested in: we use remodel magazines to give them ideas of what they can do, and establish a budget,” explains Christenson.
Most business comes from phone calls from previous customers and referrals/recommendations.
When someone calls Remodel Works Kitchen and Bath the first questions asked are: what kind of remodel do you want to do, kitchen and or bath, and how did you found out about us.
Once the customer’s needs are determined a specific salesperson is assigned to them, and the sales person works one-on-one with the customer, finding out more about the customer’s wants and needs. The salesperson also goes to the customer’s home to see the remodeling space and establish what the remodel will entail, along with a budget for the project.
“Sometimes, at this point, we may stop the sales process if the customer doesn’t have the budget,” explains Christenson. “Often we may do two proposals for the customer: one for what they want and one for their budget. Then the customer can decide if they can go forward with the remodel.”
After the salesperson’s visit, the next step is setting up an appointment for the customer to come into the showroom and review the remodeling proposals.
“We figure if the customer is not willing to come into the showroom they are not serious about going through with the remodel,” says Christenson. “We don’t e-mail proposals or talk about them on the phone for this very reason. Plus, having the customer in our showroom helps them envision what products they are considering and what the products will look like in their home.”
During the proposal review, the salesperson goes over every line item, along with the bottom line price of the remodel. Once the remodel project is sold to the customer, the salesperson is done and a project manager is assigned to it.
“The project manager plays an integral role in the remodeling process because the project manager reviews the project through the customer’s eyes,” explains Christenson. “We also go through the entire remodel process with them, so they know exactly what to expect and there are no surprises.
“Unfortunately there is a perception of ‘non-professional’ contractors out there,” adds Christenson. “But by assigning a project manager to every customer’s remodel job, the perception of unprofessional contractors is dispelled.”
Also, during the pre-construction meeting, the project manager goes over the project with the client. The project manager reviews the products on the spec sheet and has the customer initial each product, so there is no misunderstanding of what is being installed.
Before the construction phase begins, the project goes through scheduling and planning.
“Something very unique that we use here at Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen is a scheduling program,” says Christenson. “We schedule everything out: per date and per person that will be working on the remodel. Everything is automatic here, the scheduling, estimating system, etc. This makes things very efficient. No other company has a scheduling system like this — we know on what day what is being done and by whom.”
Typically, it takes six to eight weeks to start a project. During this time period all material for the remodel is delivered to the showroom, and a job is never started until all products and materials have been delivered.
During the planning process, employees are scheduled as to when they will be working on the job. Once the job has gone through the scheduling process and the materials have been delivered, the project manager calls the customer and reviews the completed schedule, preparing them for the construction that will be done in a few days.
Marketing strategies, award
Even though Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen obtains almost 50% of business from referrals and previous customers, the company also implements many different marketing strategies, such as digital marketing, search engine optimization strategies, and social media. Besides implementing all these online marketing avenues, the company created a brand new website in 2014, based on user conversion and demographics on previous websites.
“Four years ago we started putting a specific emphasis on digital marketing for direct leads and social media,” says Christenson. “We started aggressive digital market strategies, and we have a marketing director that puts 50% of their time into the websites [Remodel Works has more than one website], and we also oversee our social media strategies in-house. We have a separate marketing division that is staffed with an SEO expert.”
Digital marketing, SEO strategies and social media is a must for any company in this day and age, which Remodel Works has been implementing, and this year, Christenson plans to do even more digital marketing via different platforms.
“There is a market for this,” says Christenson. “Our client base is between 45- and 75-year-olds that make more than $100,000, so we are testing different platforms online to see how the older generation responds.”
Whether customers learn of Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen by a referral, are previous customers that come back for more, or find out about the company via digital marketing strategies, there is no denying that Remodel Works Bath and Kitchen makes the customer No. 1. And winning Angie’s List’s Super Service Award for the past nine years is a testament to exemplary customer service.
“Nine years ago we registered with Angie’s List, and since then we have won their Super Service Award for nine straight years,” said Christenson.
According to Christenson, it’s very important for contractors to be aware of Angie’s List.
“We probably have obtained in excess of $1.5 million in sales thanks to being on Angie’s List,” says Christenson. “We always ask every one of our clients to go on Angie’s List and submit reviews.”
Besides winning the Super Service Award from Angie’s list for nine consecutive years, Remodel Works won the 2015 Best of Houzz Service Award. Houzz is the leading platform for home remodeling and design. The award is given in two categories: customer service and design. Customer Service honors are determined by a variety of factors, including the number and quality of client reviews a professional received in 2014. These online service award badges help homeowners identify popular and top-rated home professionals in every metro area on Houzz.
Remodel Works also obtained Remodeling Big50 status. The Big50 is the remodeling industry’s business excellence award for best practices. The annual list of companies is created by Remodeling to showcase professionalism and integrity in the remodeling industry through marketing, business practices, unique design, and extraordinary impact on community or the industry at large. There are companies of various sized that make this list.