Experiencing Incredible Service

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One remodeler talks about encouraging his contractors to give better service by attending classes and going out to dinner.

May 01, 1999

Hands-on experience works wonders for teachers. It works wonders for remodelers keen on training, too.

Dale Crisp, president of Kendale in Jacksonville, Fla., has found a unique way to show his employees what excellent customer service is. He sends about four employees each quarter to a Dale Carnegie course, off site, to learn human relations and communication skills. As a graduation present, he sends them out for a healthy dose of customer service.

"We give them a gift certificate to a restaurant in Jacksonville so they can receive phenomenal service and see what impact that has," Crisp says. "The first time we let the [restaurant] manager in on it so when [our employees] walked in they got even better treatment. Employees come back without solicitation to tell about the incredible service."

Crisp says sending his employees outside for training has brought additional benefits, too. Instead of homogeneous private training sessions, the four employees are part of a class of 30. Instead of interacting with other remodeling employees, Kendale employees rub shoulders with "client-status-type people," too, Crisp says.

"They’re meeting doctors, lawyers, grocery clerks," he says. "This enables [employees] to see that [all people] are learning about human relations and communication skills as well.

"We’re going the extra mile with self-improvement programs to level of service. The effectiveness with client relations is being realized."

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