I suffer from CDO ... Its like OCD, but in alphabetical order, LIKE IT SHOULD BE!!!
The local free standing paint store is unlikely to be able to compete on price with the "big box" stores, so they had better be superior on customer service. Telling someone to come back 2 hours later for a color sample is NOT good customer service.
Regardless of Spruce's protestations, the local paint stores are not superior in the area of paint quality, for sure not when price is factored in, although I might concede a generally more informed sale staff at the local paint store. HD's newly released Marquis line of exterior paint tops out at just under $50 per gallon, which is several dollars more than the Ultra line, which is already an excellent paint.
"I don't blame you for not waiting 2 hours for a 10 minute job, but why did you place an order you didn't intend to pick up?"
Spruce, because he was disrespectful. A busy contractor doesn't deserve to be treated like a "shmatta" (a piece of rag) by a union worker from a paint store, never mind the fact that the contractor IS the customer and without him this union worker will be out of his job.
I would just like to point out that no one knows how many orders the guy had to fill before yours. I know I usually call my orders in ahead of time so I don't have to wait. Unless it is a custom match he may have had 10 orders ahead of you.
I would have to agree to a certain extent: just because the customer does not see other customers standing around does not mean that several jobs are not already in the line ahead of him. However, it is incumbent upon the salesperson to make it known that he is backed up and plead indulgence.
In the case of the "big box" stores, customers frequently place an order and then go do their other shopping.
If all goes well with color matching, it only takes a few minutes. However, the machines often miss the mark mark and must be tweaked "by eye". This is quite time consuming. Add a little of this, dry the sample, add a little more, dry the sample, etc It is also somewhat distracting if other projects are being worked on. You have to keep a running log of what has been added so that a new formula can be made up and the new sticker placed on the can.
I remember the paint store I used to trade at having a sign stating, "Do Not Talk To The Mixer". Distracting him often ended up in another can of "oops" paint.
Last edited by ordjen; 05-29-2013 at 08:52 PM.
This is really commentary on customer service . . .
(1) Pharmacies will fill your prescription in 15-20 minutes if you tell them you'll wait. They can mix your paint in the same amount of time.
(2) The Paint guy should have explained to dj1, knowing it was 8am and no other customers around . .. anything like .... "I'm not qualified to mix paint but the guy is expected in shortly. "I got a big order and the cutsomer said he'll pick up it in 15 minutes." "I have to take inventory before I can start work, company rule." Something, so at least you don't think the guy is a lazy-azz clerk.
(3) Have your noticed that Home Depot employees, are now trained to ask any strolling customer if he/she needs help . . . the CEO (Blake or some other name) of HD has been on this for 5-7 years, replacing Bob Nardelli who lost the CEO race at GE around 2001 -- Nardelli managed HD like a peice of rental property. Nardelli was fired with a platinum parachute and later recruited for Chrysler by the PE Fund owners which bought Chrysler from Mercedes, and he 2 years later shepherded Chrysler to bankruptcy and government bailout.
The HD employees may not have the answers, but they work . . . so you don't stroll 100,000 sf looking for 1 item. Lowe's haven't changed and isn't better or worse, but it looks flat. Sears is run by Edward Lampert, a slum lord of an owner who thinks store upgrades is a waste of shareholder money and doesn't think much of customers.
And Californians know that shopping at OSH (which is ironically owned by Sears) is a better experience than Sears hardware.
I have long noticed that whenever I go to Walgreens for a prescription, I am always told it will be 20 minutes, even though there is no one waiting and the pharmacists are lethargically walking around behind the counter. I am convinced that they do this as a matter of company policy because they want you to wander around the store for a few minutes and see something that you "need" to buy.
Most customers are understanding when they see that the employee is moving around deliberately attending to business.
Anyway, this is quite a theme drift from the cost of paint!
"Anyway, this is quite a theme drift from the cost of paint!"
Yes, we were wandering around a bit, but Here is my deal: my best and most effiecient working hours are from 8 am to 3 pm. If I dilly dally and waste time, I can't make it up after 3 pm.
The guy at S-W (or could be ANY store), is there counting down his minutes till his break or till the end of his day. That's the difference between a self employed contractor and a lazy union worker.
Look at the USA - this is why we lost it. We adopted an concept of: get me the most by giving the least.
Here are my 2 cents:
Once a contractor told me that basically "all brands of paints are more or less equal"... Meaning - there is no need to use expensive paints as long as the sheen is selected properly and the work is done well... I was a complete newbie in renos then and kind of believed him as he did an excellent job in painting my basement with Glidden...
Few years latter another contractor whom I hired said - "I only work with Benjamine Moore, all the rest is c--p". Guess what - He did c---py job in my bathroom - drips, visible brash strokes and peeling paint after just few weeks...
So it made me believe that indeed - IT'S ALL IN THE WRIST...
Also, I decided to take on painting as a hobby... My technique is getting better with each project... Thank you very much everybody for your excellent advises! I try various kinds of paints and still don't find that BM is in no way superior to the BB store ones. For me it's more difficult to work with and often requires Floetrol.
My last endeavor was the above mentioned bathroom - after a thorough prep and a coat of the oil based Zinsser primer I applied 2 coats of Behr Ultra Plus Eggshel paint. I like it a lot! It looks much better than the last contractor's job and has perfect low sheen... Thank you Ordjen for advice!
Just out of curiosity I will try Dulux and Valspar one day... Will let you know... I do not believe we have KM or SW in Canada...
Now, speaking from customers' point of view - the cost of paint is still just a little fraction of the total cost (5-10%?) the rest is - labor, the most expensive and valuable part that you professionals do. Pretty much the same applies to other projects. Obviously everybody would like to have high/higher end materials (yes, I do like Toto...). I always specify the kind of materials I want or buy them myself. That's why - request for particular paint type (although - I personally don't care now - see above)... If he/she pays $1000 for a job, he/she will gladly pay an extra $40 for 2 gallons of paint of choice if it makes them feel better... So, please don't be hard on your customers and I think majority of them will gladly pay you the difference...