Estimated reading time: 5 minutes, 28 seconds
Levco is in the business of creating enthusiastic referrals through the process of remodeling. This enthusiasm is ageless and timeless. It starts growing from the moment we sign an agreement and goes to the moment…. Well, I’m not sure how long it lasts, forever I suppose.
The expired warranty story
On a recent grocery shopping trip, I ran into a past client who we had remodeled a kitchen for about three years ago. Upon exchanging pleasantries, I asked if she was still in love with her kitchen.
She was radiant about it, and then she casually mentioned that she was concerned that her cabinet finish was looking funny.
I immediately contacted the cabinet company on Monday, who made an appointment to investigate.
Upon examining the kitchen, the cabinet companies’ representative’s immediate response was, “Holy cow, we must have had a bad batch of finish”. They took about 25 doors and drawer fronts back to the shop for refinishing.
Later that day, I got a frantic call from my cabinet salesperson (for the past ten years) who said, “This is water damage not a warranty issue, our employee misdiagnosed the problem! Our warranty expired long ago! This is a $2,700 job”.
After calming myself for a moment, I explained, “No one wants to take responsibility for a situation that they did not cause, and I get that. The fact is that your company, and indirectly my company, accepted complete responsibility for the problem.
It happened at the exact moment your employee opened his mouth and misdiagnosed the problem”. “You can’t un-ring that bell!” I said.
When is a warranty not a warranty?
Upon further investigation, and visiting the cabinet shop, I got to see the problem first hand.
I saw hazing of the wood where it looks like the finish has been failing.
I spontaneously authorized the refinishing; I was not going to let this turn into a Whose wrong VS. What’s wrong argument. I agreed with my salesperson, it could only be water damage.
Later, in a lengthy discussion with the owner of the multimillion dollar cabinet company, an agreement was struck. We were going to make the problem go away for my client together.
The cabinet shop fixed the problem at cost, and Levco picked up the tab.
- Water and wood do not mix, dry wood when exposed to water will swell up and shed the finish. (You would not dare put a water glass on a piano, why on earth would you wash your cabinets?)
In whose best interest is it to refinish these cabinets immediately?
A: EVERYONE’S (of course)!
- Did the client ruin her cabinets on purpose? NO
- Did the client’s housekeeper ruin the cabinets on purpose? NO
- Could she have been putting water on them and letting it soak in? YES, probably.
- Could the finish have been too thin or faulty? No, we ruled that out.
The British car problem
This reminded me of a story that I consider a guiding principal for Levco.
A fellow, lets call him Mr. Jones, that had just driven an expensive car he purchased from the factory in England.
He was happily cruising down the coast when the drive shaft came disconnected from the rear axle.
Stuck, he called the factory and described his location and situation. He was told to sit tight and that they would be there to take care of everything in about 45 minutes.
At about 35 minutes, a helicopter arrived with several white coat mechanics who jacked the car up and fixed the problem.
Stunned, Mr. Jones watched the helicopter fly away and continued his trip. Several weeks went by and no bill arrived. Concerned, he contacted the factory and reached his salesman. He was quickly transferred directly to the owner, to whom he recounted the amazing story.
The owner replied, “Mr Jones, I’m not quite sure what you are talking about, there will be no bill, our drive shafts do not fail.”
Where the rubber meets the road for Levco
- I am thankful that we discovered a problem before the faces of the cabinet doors required replacing.
- I am grateful that the manufacturer refinished the cabinet faces in their shop expeditiously.
- I was relieved that we were able to make the problem go away quickly and seamlessly for my client.
- Like the Rolls Royce story, there will be no bill. “Levco projects do not fail”.
The happy endings
The cabinet shop owner has gone to great lengths to ensure that his employees are properly educated.
To make this mess into another “Levco legendary service success story”, I have created a document that every client will automatically receive.
It outlines techniques and procedures for optimum cabinet care. When these simple guidelines are followed, my clients will have their cabinets to enjoy for a lifetime.
My client feels blessed that she chose Levco to remodel her home. Her refinished cabinets are back and looking like they did the day they were installed.
She has been educated in the ways of cabinet care, and has educated the housekeeper too. What are the odds we created an enthusiastic referral in her?
Levco remains spring loaded to do the right thing.
Not everyone sees the world as we do. Levco, has a clear vision of what we are doing and why. We strive to associate ourselves with others that feel as we do about customer service and integrity.
We just stand behind our word and our work, end of story.
- No TV investigative reporters needed
- No BBB (better business bureau) complaints required
- No law suits filed
To that end, you can be sure that your hard-earned cash is well spent with us.
Bonus Round Questions?
- Who has a warranty story that will knock my socks off?
- Who has a sad story of not being treated like royalty when appropriate?
Your comments are welcome. To ask questions or get more information about remodeling, click here to email me directly, or call 208-947-7261
If you or someone you know is considering remodeling or just wants to speak to a trustworthy remodeling contractor please contact me, you’ll be glad you did.
Disclaimer: Some of these images came from the WEB. If they are yours, and you object to them being used, please claim them and I will gladly remove and replace them at once.
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And THAT is why you are still in business right through the recession my friend. Customer Service is KING! Nicely done.
Thank you for your comment Aaron. This situation turned into something wonderful. It could have gone sideways so easily. I believe that this form of customer loyalty and accountability is what sets us apart from the rest. By recognizing that this story is way above and beyond, it is clear to me that you get it. May your business flourish and stand out for doing great work too.
I have your comment taped to the top of my computer monitor: “Be at the top of your game, or stay off the phone.”
Looks like you follow your own advice. Great story and even better getting the story into your blog and out to your customers.
Thanks Michael, this one was difficult to turn into something positive but I did it. Providing great customer service is essential to longevity and my personal satisfaction. By sharing the story with the world, I am setting the stage for a great year. Thank you for your unwavering support.