Custom work carries a unique set of risks and rewards. On the one hand, you’re creating something to fit the specific needs of your customer, and that’s rewarding. When done well, custom products—mostly closets, in my case—make customers fall in love. There’s not a single random shelf or accessory; each feature was carefully considered and added thoughtfully to address the needs and match the lifestyle of the homeowner.
But, on the other hand, custom work is far riskier than mass production. If you get anything wrong or miss anything in translation, you’re out of luck. You’ll lose time and money, and leave your customer feeling frustrated and misunderstood.
That’s why communication is key for those of us who engage in custom woodworking and home improvement. Here at Closet America, we’ve spent years fine-tuning our process to ensure that our customers get exactly what they want and need, every time.
Demand for organized closets, garages and other home storage areas will rise steadily over the next four years, reaching $10.9 billion in annual sales by 2019, says a study by Freedonia Group.
Here’s how we do it.
Sit Down Together
Every Closet America relationship begins with a free, no-obligation design consultation. This is an opportunity for the designer to get to know the customer and find out exactly what they’re looking for in a custom organization system.
On the day of the consultation, the Closet America designer visits the customer’s home to see the space in person. With a few materials in hand, the designer takes precise measurements of the space and then works side-by-side with the customer to create an interactive 3D model of his or her dream closet. Before the consultation is complete, the customer is able to view a life-like image of the design.
The in-person consultation allows for the customer to collaborate with us on the design from the get-go, tweaking and adjusting with our expert guidance until the 3D model looks exactly the way they want it to. This is the first step to a successful custom project—and it’s all built around communication.
Be Factory Strong
Once our customers are fully satisfied with their design, we begin production. To ensure a happy outcome for our customers, we inspect all products by hand at our headquarters in Landover, Maryland. Taking the time to inspect all materials before installation can, in many cases, make or break how smooth installation day is. In an industry like this one, it’s important to go the extra mile.
Give the Red Carpet Treatment
Having an exceptional design gets you off to a solid start, but a smooth installation is your ticket to a strong finish. That’s why we roll out the red carpet for our customers on installation day. (Well, maybe not a red carpet, but our installers do cover floors with protective tarps and runners. We take every precaution to keep our customers’ floors clear of damage!)
When it comes to getting our customers the custom products they want, we bring Olympic-level speed and precision to the job. From custom shipping pallets and padding to one-day installation and cleanup, we make sure the process is seamless and easy for our customers.
We Know It Works
For years, Closet America has led the custom closet industry in the greater DC area—and our continued recognition allows us to keep doing so. In 2014, we received two awards for our exceptional service: the Angie’s List Super Service Award and the Guildmaster Awards for Service Excellence; we received the Guildmaster Award again in 2015.
It’s The Customer Service
Whether you’re designing a custom closet or redesigning an office space, it’s essential to focus on communicating with your customer from start to finish. And once you install the custom product, don’t forget to follow up to make sure your customer is thrilled with their new custom built system.
Custom work is intimate work. It’s built around a thorough understanding of your customers and their needs. And in order to understand them, you need to take the time to really listen to them and get to know them. And when you do, you’ll reap the benefits of a solid reputation and a job well done.
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