“How do you stay in front of customers to ensure they conduct proper maintenance of their floors?”
Avi Hadad – Avi’s Hardwood Floors
When my clients sign a contract, they also sign a document specifying the proper use and maintenance of the wood floor. The document details the most-common maintenance mistakes and dos and don’ts.
Before, during, and after the job is completed, I communicate expectations to ensure the job’s success. There really is nothing one can do if a client complains about floor performance after the fact. My best advice is to get educated in the trade and have as many credentials as possible. In the event your product is being challenged, your word will have the proper weight to it as opposed to just being another “floor guy.”
Todd McDonald – Maple Ridge Handscraped
I keep in front of my customers by supplying them with everything that they need to maintain their floor. This includes felt floor protectors, a maintenance mop and ready-to-use cleaner, as well as a gallon of concentrate. I also give them a quick story of sanding versus recoating, and give them the analogy of a gym floor and that gyms are coated once a year for maintenance and that they should expect to recoat their floor somewhere between five and 12 years. I also make sure they understand where to place throw rugs. When they need more concentrate, I will drop that off and look at their floor at that time; generally 14 months after we have finished.
Joni Rocco – Artistic Floors by Design Inc.
Maintenance is a challenge, especially using commercial-grade finishes that the end-user assumes are so durable, there’s no need for it. At the start of our transaction, we email a terms/conditions sheet along with our estimate appointment confirmation that must be initialed and signed prior to contracting. The agreement specifies various cleaning/care products can void the warranty (steam cleaners, polishes/oils).
During production, once the customer chooses a finish, they receive an email, which covers everything from dry and cure times to long-term cleaning and maintenance of that finish, including what to look for over time to ensure aesthetics and durability. Putting the information in writing reinforces the face-to-face conversations about protecting the investment.
The next step we will take this year is to email reminders to our customers who had their floors finished three to five years ago, so they are on the lookout for wear and tear that we can mitigate prior to finish wearing through.