by Clay Cox Owner/President – Kitchens by Clay
The change in the way I do business from when I started 27 years ago to now is truly remarkable.
I remember when my first kitchen design position involved my employer handing me a pager with the instructions that if the code 911 shows up, I am to call him immediately. The next instruction was a 411 code which meant he wanted information from me, and I could take more time getting back to him.
My response was, where is the cell phone that I’ll need to call you? He then told me to get in my truck and drive to the nearest pay phone and call from there. Like I said, “The Times They AreA-Changin’.”
Unfortunately, when it comes to hi-tech, it’s not all roses, especially when it comes to purchasing a new kitchen or bath. We have people contacting us via e-mail to price out a kitchen, that we have never seen. Or calling to ask for a linear foot price, or even a square foot price for something we know nothing about.
Not knowing the individual product choices, changes to the floor plan, the new design and all other variables make it impossible to produce an accurate price. We’re talking painted, stained or exotic wood cabinetry, different ceiling heights, appliance packages, countertop selections, plumbing fixtures, all of which affect the bottom line.
The point is, as bad as we feel telling a prospective client that we simply cannot design and price such a personal thing as their kitchen via e-mail, we still must tell them.
Using technology, e-mail and online resources to search for new products, view a design company’s portfolio, send photos, and in general just see what’s new is fantastic. However, expectations of doing a project “via e-mail” is not the way to go.
This way of communication can be effective but phone conversations, face to-face meetings and a site visit allows for far more progress and accuracy. Although, in my humble opinion, texting seems to be a good way to go for a quick question and answer vehicle.
Don’t get me wrong, I am thrilled to be alive and successful in a day and age where we can get so much done more efficiently using “hi-tech”. This allows for me and my team to be even better at our jobs but it does have its place.
Enjoy your remodel,
Feel free to send an e-mail to me at firstname.lastname@example.org