We decided to put our house on the market in early August because we are at that time in our life where we want to “downsize”. Our kids are grown, we have a second home in Central Minnesota that will someday be my retirement from Corporate America home and frankly, paying the mortgage for this more expensive home is not what we want to be doing anymore. We love our home but my husband and I have lived in several houses and each one has been a great home.
So back to my story about putting our house on the market…
Due to the fact that my husband broke his ankle while we were on vacation over the Fourth of July, not breaking just one bone but fracturing both, and having surgery with two plates and seven screws, getting our house market-ready was a challenge to say the least (since he was totally none weight-bearing for the first six weeks after surgery). Thankfully, one of our closest friends is a retired high-school “shop” teacher so he is downright handy for DIY (“do it yourself”) type projects! The weekend before we were listing the house, we worked like crazy, fixing this and replacing that until our home was in better shape than when we moved in twelve years ago.
The big day to put it on the market was exciting because the house looked FANTASTIC! That was until the hail and rain storm blew in the night we listed it. I woke up the morning after the storm to the pool cover buried under 3-4 inches of standing water and pieces of shingles were laying on the ground. Can you say “devastating”? I called our son and he came over to throw on several lovely blue tarps over the roof where we lost shingles and my husband got on the phone with our insurance agent.
So, my husband breaks his ankle (oh yeah, our brand spankin’ new motorcycle had a thirteen thousand dollar paint job that was submitted into our insurance company from his bike accident), he had to have surgery… we put our house up for sale… strong winds and a hail storm blew in…, seriously, what else could be lurking in that black cloud over our heads…? If you say “your roof claim was denied”… you win the prize! Yes, our insurance company denied the roof damage because those state of the art , earth friendly… yes I said earth friendly… shingles were apparently manufactured to be organic and land-fill friendly (meaning they are meant to break down over time). As someone who works in the insurance industry, I totally get why our insurance company would prefer to deny our claim. The shingles we had on the roof were discontinued so a whole roof needed to be replaced versus the portions where the shingles blew off (because they could not match the shingles since they were are off the market and the manufacturer is embroiled in a class action lawsuit over those particular shingles).
The stress of everything had definitely taken its toll and I found that I was not being very pleasant to deal with so I left the challenge up to my husband to see if we could get our roof repaired through our insurance company. We felt pretty strongly that the fact of a storm literally blowing off pieces of our shingles was a good case that the storm caused the damage. My husband contacted a contractor that a friend of mine had recommended and along came the Cardinal Exteriors guys… our knights in shining armor… riding in on their white horses (okay maybe it was a white pick up truck…). This Queen (Drama Queen that is…) was rescued and I have to say…I am in love…
No, my husband doesn’t need to worry because it is not another man I am in love with… but a company… a company that is made up of many awesome guys… bottom line is I am in love with a concept... their concept of what great customer service means…
As someone who is in a service role in both my corporate role and my private coaching company, there are a couple of key take-aways that I have gathered from working with the crew at Cardinal Exteriors:
- Treat each customer as if they were the most important client my company has ever had.
- Treat each customer as if they are family (I have heard from three different people at Cardinal on three separate occasions “you are family…”).
- Stay in contact... reach out regularly by phone, email and text. I never had to call them for information because they reached out to me first.
- Ensure a quality return on investment for my customers. Be efficient, be on time, and clean up any messes before the customer sees it (the roofing crew had an person whose sole job was to clean up throughout the project versus waiting until the project was completed).
We now have a beautiful new roof… our house is back on the market… and the black cloud has given way to an unseasonably string of bright blue, sunny days!
What is your number one customer service takeaway?