Mistakes can lead to more business

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By Richard Renouf, Industry Expert:

White ceramic tiled floor, white units with white handles, white laminate worktops, a white oven and hob, white wall tiles and white textured ceiling; and the fridge? Yes, that’s white, too!

This kitchen design breaks all the rules for colour and contrast as it will show every bread crumb and spill and yet the customer is grinning broadly.

I obtained this order because a previous job had gone wrong; unfortunately, I’d incorrectly cut a worktop by squaring off the cut out when the old re-used sink had rounded corners. Frustratingly, I had to bear the cost of a replacement and then half a day of my time to go and pick it up and complete the job properly.

Thankfully, the customer was understanding about my mistake but it was the way I dealt with it that impressed him so much that he told his friend who then called me and asked me to go round to plan and quote for the kitchen we are now standing in.

“I want it completely white, everything!” he said, “I want to be able to feel whether the hob or oven are on or off by the shape of the knobs, but I don’t want anything specially adapted, it all has to be ordinary.”

As he spoke his eyes were staring into the middle of the room. He was determined that the disease that had cost him his sight was not going to stop him being a chef and he was determined to continue to entertain his friends in the trade.

“If it’s all white my wife will be able to see where I’ve been working and it will be easier for her to clean up anything I have missed.” He added.

Now my customer has gone over the entire kitchen by touch checking everything, including even the pattern on the ceiling, the tiling, the worktop joints, the units, the door knobs, the oven controls, he says that he feels delighted, and so do I to be honest.

Without doubt, this is the most satisfying job I have ever done. I don’t necessarily like the look of it, and I wouldn’t have it in my home, but when the customer is so satisfied, then so am I of course.

So why am I mentioning this? Well, because the kitchen installation that I have even completed stems from the fact that it came about all because of how I dealt with a mistake on a previous project.

I don’t suggest you make mistakes deliberately of course but its how you deal with them that will show your true professionalism and create more work.

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