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Installing Confidence #1: Scheduling Conflicts

Ooh! Remember this stain? That was where you spilled a jar of molasses on the counter! Look! It’s still sticky!

Yep. This old countertop has seen a lot of life go by for us. Makes me feel kind of nostalgic.

Me too. Let’s get a new one.

For real. I’m not nearly that emotionally attached to this piece of crap.

Hey there, viewers. Slabb Granite here. Project Supervisor. Situations like the McKuen’s here are pretty common. Stuff wears out. Things get old and break down. A kitchen remodel can be the perfect call for giving the old home space an extreme makeover.

So the McKuens contacted an authorized renovation dealer—Madeline D. Zyne.

I told them they simply had to go with a quartz countertop, with a triple waterfall edge. Trust me, you’ll love it. No more molasses stains. I’ll call Hallmark Stone—they’re the cat’s granite pajamas when it comes to countertops—and we’ll get the ball rolling. The wrecking ball.

Well, the McKuens were thrilled. They placed the order and couldn’t wait to get their new countertop. But then…well, a minor communication issue arose.


Hi, Mrs. McKuen, This is Becky with Hallmark Stone. I just wanted to give you a courtesy call to remind you about the templating appointment on Friday. Three p.m. sharp.


Yes. It’s one of the most important parts of the process. That’s how we fabricate your countertop, matching the templates created during this appointment to create the final product. Friday.


Yes. Three p.m.

Oh! We can’t do Friday. Our son is making his Little League pitching debut. His game is at three. We can’t miss it.

Well, your dealer should have⁠—

Right! Our dealer. Madeline. I’ll make sure she’s here. She can supervise.

Nope. Doesn’t work that way. You have to be there. You and Mr. McKuen are the only ones authorized to sign off on the⁠—

Madeline never told us we had to be there for the templating! This is ridiculous!

It has to be you or your husband. If the templater measures the countertop wrong or puts a seam where you don’t want one, it needs to be your responsibility.

Isn’t there a way around this?

Listen. We can do the templating fast. I’ll tell the templater to rush it and hurry through the process for you. Get you to the game by the fourth inning.

Wait. Can’t we just reschedule? Push it back a couple days?

[Heavy sigh] Fine. Let me see what I can do, but it’s been really busy. I know we can’t do Monday so It’s gonna take a while before we could come back out. I’ll have to get with my scheduler and then get back with you once I hear back from him.

Well. This little scenario suddenly became a bit counter productive! As an Expediter, maybe you’ve encountered a similar situation. So. How would you handle a customer experience like this?



Accommodate the customer’s need when possible. If you can’t establish the importance of the homeowner being onsite for the templating appointment early in the sales process, offer alternatives that will work for the customer.

Explain why it’s crucial for the homeowner to be present for the templating. Give them the knowledge to understand: The templater confirms all the details of the job. Any changes after that point become the financial responsibility of the customer, and those changes can incur installation delays. So, make them feel empowered to know that they’re the final decision maker for their kitchen. The homeowners’ friends, relatives, neighbors, or even dealers don’t always know how they envision their countertops looking. This is the opportunity to make the finished look really theirs.

Support your dealer by showing confidence in them, as well as the homeowner who has chosen this dealer. (Instead of throwing the dealer under the bus!)

Minimize any frustration the customer may express. Your job is not only to expedite the remodeling process, but to ease tensions and worries that may arise for the homeowner. It’s much more than just pushing buttons. It’s building relationships.

Offering to reschedule the appointment for a more convenient time should only be a last resort. Due to the time considerations of our vendors and other customers, rescheduling often sets off a chain reaction that will affect the homeowner’s project completion schedule with other trades, such as plumbers and tile setters.

Keep this in mind: Always listen to the customer and don’t interrupt. A little empathy goes a long way, but a little attitude can greatly damage professional relationships. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Remember that they don’t understand the process like you do. How would you want to be treated in this situation? Use empathy statements that help establish a personal connection with the customer.

“You’re right.”

Validate the customer’s feelings. Simply confirm that there’s a problem that needs to be addressed and assure them that you’re on their side. That will help them feel understood, that you’re listening, and that you are working on fixing the issue.

“I would feel the same way in your situation.”

Show the customer that you know how it would feel to be in their shoes. Identify their emotions and empathize to assure them their feelings are relatable.

“I’m sorry we didn’t communicate these requirements better.”

Apologizing to an upset customer shows you’re taking steps to mend the relationship. Bearing some of the blame for the problem relieves the customer and expresses empathy to avoid negative attitudes the customer may have for your business.

Now that you’ve seen our scenario play out and gotten a glimpse of the Hallmark Stone Way of handling sticky situations like these, how would you revise your initial response? Submit your response below and send.

Thanks for joining us for this episode of Hallmark Stone’s “Installing Confidence.”

I’m Slabb Granite and I am out. Rock solid out!

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