SEN Design Group

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A Blueprint to Measuring Customer Experience in Kitchen and Bath Remodeling

“We never want to leave room for the client to say the two bad words of construction: I thought.”

—Brandon Fitzmorris
SEN Design Group


Kitchen and bath remodeling is a $486 billion industry, with one foot planted in the 20th century and merely dipping its big toe in the 21st. The industry has spent the past two decades catching up with the marketing capabilities that have advanced tremendously since 2006.

We’ve seen big improvements in online marketing strategies, such as increased deftness in the usage of social media platforms, blogging, and video production capabilities. Tech innovation occurs so rapidly improvements can be seen from month to month. In contrast, a major innovation changes the world roughly every two years, known as Moore’s Law.

From smart homes to smart appliances, energy-conserving possibilities, and consumer- generated renderings via AI, change has come to kitchen and bath showrooms, whether or not kitchen and bath firms refine their operational strategies.

This white paper discusses customer service in the kitchen and bath industry. It can guide the reader through the perspectives of delivering customer service, measuring customer experience, managing an operational response to the data, and implementing software to create a transparent, streamlined atmosphere for business to be conducted.

The role of the kitchen designer is changing

Technology has made the world more convenient and demystified the factors of home remodeling. It has brought familiarity to the consumer by making knowledge available in seconds. Kitchen and bath industry-specific tech is already saving some sales designer hours of time week to week, allowing them to concentrate:

1) on developing relationships with prospects, and

2) getting them retained much

So much sooner, sales designers using selling software are retained in two hours!

  • Familiarity removes the consumer’s anxiety over the prodigious costs of home remodeling
  • Familiarity means the prodigious price increases of high-dollar products are expected among consumers
  • Familiarity increases the sale of high-dollar items subject to prodigious price increase
  • Familiarity delivers budget ranges in two hours
  • Familiarity completes jobs faster

How to develop rewarding exploratory experiences for your prospects

  • Create value at the start

The task of sales designers is to contextualize a complicated, costly, and often mystifying remodeling project that takes months to complete and makes the homeowner feel great about their investment every step of the way. Sales designers accomplish this by creating key values for the homeowner at the beginning of the relationship.


  • Build a strong rapport with prospects for great customer experiences

Often the bonding that occurs between sales designers and prospects during the initial consultation strengthens as deadlines are met and the installation is completed on time. However, something is bound to go wrong at some point in kitchen and bathroom remodeling. There are too many moving parts in residential construction for any job to be 100% smooth and free of problems. The better a sales designer knows their customer, the more confidence the customer will have in the entire team involved in installing their kitchen.

Turn exploratory experiences into client investments

  • Show prospects what it is like to work with your firm

Build trust at the onset of an opportunity by establishing realistic goals within your prospect’s desired job timeline. This illuminates the events occurring during the lifespan of their project.

The more prospects see what will happen as their job pans out, the lower their anxiety will be about making the big changes to their home life that would occur while the remodeling process is underway.

  • Trust built with the prospect is a mutual investment in the plan to fulfill the vision they have for their home
  • Value is established through education and transparent engagement with the prospect

Tangiblize the process by being transparent throughout the experience

Homeowners enter the remodeling experience with some of their questions already answered. However, prospects are typically not knowledgeable of the intricacies of kitchen and bath design, and most are simply confused about what happens next. Creating value during the initial consultation tangibilizes the long, nuanced and often grueling kitchen remodeling process.

Tangibilization is accomplished by transparently showing prospects the costs of products and services during their first consultation. That’s an item-by-item product and labor-price illumination for the homeowner.

Ongoing communication is another form of transparency and trust-building. It’s one thing to follow through with what you say you’re going to do when you say you’re going to do it – it’s another thing to level up to let the homeowner know about hangups interfering with project completion as soon as you know about them.

  • Create value at the start of the process
  • Build bonds and strengthen rapport
  • Clarify the personnel and subcontractors who will be involved and when they will engage their portion of the work so the homeowner knows what to expect and when to expect it
  • Show them how the journey will look: present your client with realistic expectations – both timeline and budgeting numbers
  • Display their name in lights in a prominent place in your (Or choose another way to enthusiastically celebrate prospects scheduling visits)
  • Engage them as though they are they are your only customer
  • Give your prospects your undivided attention: learn about your client
  • Discuss the options the homeowner has within their price points and give them a good, better, and best price based on what they have told you they want for their space
  • Educate homeowners about the quality and price of products, and the use and cost of subcontractors
  • Reduce their fear and concerns by tangibilizing the process every step of the way: maintain low-to-no client concern with prompt, crystal-clear communication
  • Project a completed reality

Measuring customer experience in metrics

Metrics provide the ingredients needed to map out successful futures. Month-to-month readings provide customer feedback from which firms can decide how to move forward based on where customers say they are performing well and where they think they are underperforming.

By making operational tweaks based on metrics readings, firm owners have a smart framework from which to better serve their customers. What follows are key metrics for kitchen and bath business owners to measure their team’s performance.

  • Net promoter score (NPS) answers how likely a customer is to promote your business through word-of-mouth communication
  • Customer effort score (CES) measures the effort customers put into the experience of doing business with your firm
  • Customer satisfaction score (CSAT) records a customer’s short-term experiences with an interaction, product, or event
  • Customer lifetime value (CLV) gauges customers’ experiences for the duration of their interaction with a business
  • Customer retention rate (CRR) measures the loyalty of customers
  • Churn rate (CR) measures when and how many customers stop doing business with a firm
  • Average response time (ART) measures how quickly a business responds to Is there any variant response time in responding to prospects or clients?
  • Return on advertising spend (ROAS) measures revenue for every dollar spent on advertising

ROAS = (revenue attributable to ads ÷ cost of ads) x 100

Additional market moves that can build out your metrics

Have a dynamic website – Maintaining an attractive, screen-accommodating website is crucial to user experience. Your website should fit the size of any device used to access it.

Optimize your SEO – Invest in your Google search ranking to have competitive visibility on the SERP (search engine results page).

Pay-per-click (PPC) advertising – Strategically place your ads on social media platforms and results pages, paying for the service only when somebody clicks on your ad.

Social media – Advertise on two or three social media platforms at maximum. After deciding which platforms are right for your business, advertise regularly. Post only related content of repeating themes at regular intervals per platform.

For instance:

  • Post job progress on Friday afternoons via Instagram, always including a 15 to 25- second video with a short voice-over summarizing the content in the same enthusiastic voice
  • On Mondays at noon, X’ing (fka Tweeting) posts with links to your website’s blog with a tagline introducing it
  • Email marketing – Maintain your connection with subscribers, opportunities, and clients with regular email blasts. Engage them on topics related to your firm, whether a promotional video for a showroom event or an intro to a blog post followed by a link
  • Think of other ways to bring them back to your website again and again

Strategizing your development before earning a profit

“To sell is to convince someone else to part with resources – not to deprive that person, but to leave him better off in the end.”

—Dan Pink

author of To Sell is Human


Success has its own timing in the kitchen and bath industry. It’s a long journey from the first consultation to the completed installation. A project may develop well early on, and the client is glowing about the work your team is doing, however, the sale is not made until the project is complete and your client is enjoying their remodeled space. Challenges abound along the way.

When a kitchen and bath firm sells a project, it has sold a liability – the sale is not complete! It takes three, nine, perhaps twelve months before a firm can call the project a success by earning both its full monetary and referral-generating profit.

  • Create an excellent project design face
  • Sell the total job
  • Execute the fields of implementation: ordering cabinets -> installation -> warranty work -> closeout

The downside of selling success – only selling, not executing

It is a mistake to attribute success to earning a high gross profit from selling alone. Selling success is tantamount to growing within a marketplace until a firm is an authority service provider.

You may lose your authority in the marketplace if you’re just selling and not executing.

Only selling can be a major dilemma for independent kitchen and bathroom firms due to the mistakable appearance of success that results from owners using hefty, upfront client deposits for working capital. Such a cash-rich business, where typically 90% of the overall price tag gets collected before the project is substantially completed, has been a burden to many.

  • Being “cash-rich” doesn’t mean a business is successful
  • Cash earned ≠ profit earned
  • A “cash-rich” business merely has a surplus of cash
  • Cash earned can simply filter into expenses and paying off debt

What are some of the downsides of selling success? Selling at the expense of accuracy.

  • Ordering incorrectly
  • Inefficiently scheduling projects
  • Delaying the order or forgetting to order certain items
  • Mismanaging studio-only operations – where the owner-sales designer does everything without the benefit of the larger, stable model, a showroom flagship location and a full team of employees

How sales design teams create excellent customer experiences

Sales designers can influence lukewarm prospects to discuss their remodeling ideas candidly during the initial consultation by offering – at the beginning of the meeting – to transparently discover a budget range for their project by the meeting’s end.

Traditionally, remodeling estimates have been compiled privately and require a home consultation first to get measurements, then several hours of formal designing time, taking up to two weeks to complete. When completed, the sales designer presented the homeowner with a single number denoting what it would cost to complete the job, leaving the homeowner in the dark about all the component costs factored into the total price.

With transparent interaction, the pricing process loses its opacity. The numbers are out in the open, liberating the homeowner to simply agree or disagree on a final budget range which they had a direct hand in developing.

Trust is either established or improved in the wake of this revelation, giving the prospect a good reason to invest more of themselves into their project idea with the sales designer – and drawing them closer to retaining a firm for their project’s commencement.


A persuasive strategy

  • Give prospects three realistic numbers that frame their project within an 8% margin of error
  • This ingenius process builds a bond between homeowners and sales designers and tangibilizes a prospect’s remodeling aspirations – without first making a formal design!

Prospects have three tangible options to visualize their project idea as a reality for their home.

Sales designers can be confident that if their prospect gets an estimate from another firm, it will take weeks for them to produce it. So, they will compare them to the three options they received from your firm in a two-hour meeting. That comparison experience will elevate your firm’s professionalism and value over any others.


Creating a consistent experience for the homeowner

  • Imagine your prospect’s reaction when other firms don’t offer to develop a project budget range during the initial showroom visit. Who is the prospect more likely to trust for building a new room in their home?

Streamlining sales supports independent kitchen and bath firms in cultivating expected positive responses from their customers. Whereas big box stores attempt to provide the exact same experience at any location with any employee, streamlining selling is a way for independent kitchen and bath firms to deliver fast, accurate sales service, leaving sales designers to focus on building relationships with prospects and executing designs.

  • Treat walk-ins with the same amount of interest and hope in selling a job as appointments
  • Let remote communication be as engaging, informative, and prompt as in-person engagement
  • Email prospects after they have visited your showroom to see if you can help them with their remodeling needs by answering any follow-up questions they may have
  • Quickly respond to the inquiries and concerns of prospects and absorb your clients’ concerns with proactive solution-focused responses
  • Treat the problems inhibiting the progress of a client project as opportunities to strengthen your relationship with them
  • When problems arise during a project – initiate immediate disclosure to the client in person or over a video or phone The last resort for difficult news should always be an email
  • Turn problematic situations into a way to reassure clients of your outstanding service to them
  • Provide solutions – Contribute two positive alternatives to any setback
  • Offer team-wide consistency – Clients should get the same prompt, informed responses about the status of the project no matter with whom on the team they speak


Be selling-agile – think from the prospect’s perspective

Blocking and tackling – Roleplaying the sales model as a team in round robin, taking turns in the role of the customer

Practice tactical empathy – Recognize the client’s emotional state, label their emotions, and apply your findings in how you engage your clients, thereby servicing their concerns

Recognize the personality types of the people involved – The DiSC assessment gives valuable insight into personalities and learning styles. DiSC behavioral assessment is a way of understanding how teams can be built for lasting positive influence on one another and greater effectiveness in customer service

The foundation of outstanding customer experience

In residential construction, it’s not a matter of if something will go wrong, it’s: “What will go wrong, and how big of an issue will it be?”

Clear, proactive communication creates value for the client. Bringing the client into The process veritably “tangibilizes” the installation process for them and can do wonders to lower their anxiety about the disruption it brings to their home life and the

length of time it takes to complete. When the clients’ anxiety is low or non-existent, their expectations of excellence and confidence in their sales designer soar. The following practices tangibilize the process for clients.

  • Follow a standard operating procedure – Have a tight operational process in your company that keeps everybody on the same page
  • See the goal, agree on the goal, set the goal, meet the goal – Guide the prospect through each step of the process from the This tangibility of the process for the homeowner will make them feel better about green-lighting a process that will disrupt their home life for months
  • Add value at the beginning – This is a way to establish that a productive, low-anxiety relationship will develop if they build or remodel their kitchen with your firm.
  • Communicate clearly – Eliminate the I thought possibility of hearing a client say, “I thought…”
  • Be proactive – Let customers find out about problems from your firm immediately, preemptively cutting off the source of the client’s anxiety by reassuring them with a clear direction forward
  • Standardize selling – Structure your intake of jobs and selling with a standardized selling system for earning retainers in two hours, thereby selling and completing more jobs per year

Tangibilization of the process is part of the overall technique to interact transparently with prospects and clients. From project budgeting to disclosing shipping errors, transparent proactive communication is the confidence-raising ingredient that assures the client the job is handled by experts from initial consultation to substantial completion.


Automated sales underscore the crucial aspects of profit generation

Automated sales software, such as DesignAlign is a part of the tangibilization that solidifies the remodeling experience for the homeowner. Automated sales can save designers a lot of time and augment profit margins.

  • Provide structure to the selling technique
  • Reduce the length of time it takes to be retained
  • Transparency lays the groundwork for clear communication with homeowners so customers are expectant of what will happen next and not caught off guard

When the sales process is transparent, homeowners are much more likely to be at ease, even when something goes wrong with their order.

Let’s say a cabinet arrived at your showroom broken. You’ve called the vendor, and they have expedited a new cabinet box to your showroom. The next step is to call the client and let them know what happened and when the cabinet can be installed.

A quick chat looping the client in promptly after you learn about a setback is the next best move – and it will resonate positively with clients! Their product may not be installed when they arrive home that night, but they have assurance from the company handling the installation, and that’s tantamount to an arrangement they can count on.

While it is often a reason external of the firm where things go awry, it’s the sales designer’s responsibility, or project manager’s, to be accurate and diligent and to be upfront with the client regarding any delay during the installation process.


Mistakes in emailing

When addressing problems that arise on a job, email is the absolute last resort and should not be done unless it is necessary to communicate with the client that way.

It lowers the bar of what it means to respond immediately

  • When dealing with people’s investments, an adequate response means being available for real-time conversation so that any follow-up questions or concerns can be discussed immediately


It allows a distance to remain between sales designers and their clients

  • Prohibiting real-time response to any follow-up questions and concerns clients may have


Increases the possibility of misunderstanding

  • The potentialities of ambiguity or the client misreading the meaning of an email can raise the client’s anxieties. It’s not only easier to disclose important information in a verbal conversation, but it’s also unprofessional to allow anxiety to be fostered in the client’s mind


It removes the effective communication of body language

  • “We’ve received your One of the boxes came in broken, so we expedited a re-order and it will arrive in two days.”
  • Communication is 55% body language | 38% tone of voice | 7% verbal

What transparent interactive budgeting does for sales design teams

Kitchen and bath selling is about building relationships with homeowners. As there is a great deal to learn about what it takes to remodel a kitchen, even the informed homeowner is unlikely to know all the possibilities with the options, costs, and timeline, even if they’ve contracted a remodeling job before.

Indeed, the sales designer has the task of decloaking the mystery of the buying experience – of demonstrating and leading the way through the intricate process of asking and answering questions.

Project budget transparency is the breakthrough selling ingredient that allows the designer to be vulnerable first. With the sales designer’s guard down, the prospect’s guard goes down. The reservations homeowners usually have about talking about numbers for products whose prices they are unfamiliar with are eliminated.

Now the homeowner simply agrees or disagrees with the myriad options they have at the touch of a screen to get three price options to choose from. These good, better, best budgeting options can be further modified if they approve the design concept.

Leadership is established by earning a prospect’s trust, not immediately disclosing the “right” answer. Transparent interactive budgeting is a powerful communication practice.

Transparency eases the uncertainty of prospects by answering the homeowner’s question:


Do I trust this person?

It demonstrates, whether or not a firm has the right products, labor availability, and design capabilities to develop the prospect’s project framework in a mere two hours of time.

Ask – What is a comfortable investment amount for your project?

De-cloak the mystery – Be transparent about the process and the costs it

Answer the question – Do we have the right products to design and develop this project for the prospect?

Let your engagement ease any doubt – Do we trust each other – Are we a good client-designer fit?

If you and your team are the right people for the prospective job, the next step is to open the prospect’s mind to a budget range anchored by what they want to see in their home.

Identify the solution – Offer to identify a project budget range with your

Deliver three options – Is a project frame in these three budgets ideal for you?

See the goal and guide your opportunities toward it

When you work with homeowners who want to invest in remodeling their home, you have the opportunity to change their lives for the better.

Show your prospects on a large TV screen in real time what each item they want for their project will cost. Now the prospect can see how each choice they make for their project changes the the amount of their total investment range. This is transparent budgeting, and it empowers your clients to make smart preliminary decisions by showing them the details. This supports the credibility of the final budget range and builds trust in your company.

Sales designers can quickly ballpark the lowest reasonable price for what they want to see in the finished room, a better price, which builds on the first with higher quality products – and the best price: the uncompromised vision of what your prospect wants for their remodel.

A Harvard Business School study showed that the most selected price point among several industries is the better option. If the prospect is not ready to remodel their home, and they’re merely gathering information for a possible future investment, delivering value in your initial meeting with them is a trust-building move that increases the likelihood the experience will stay with them, and the prospect will return to your firm with a retainer when they are ready to remodel.

The more firms learn about what excites their prospects about their project idea, the more favorable the occasion is to bond and educate them as clients investing in a design concept.

Homeowners who have decided to invest in a remodel are naturally interested in learning all they can about the design and installation process since it will become a part of their home.

Sales designers become the client’s most valuable resource in their remodeling plans when their educational experience is delivered by your firm in a transparent, meaningful, efficient and enjoyable way.

—SEN Design Group