Copy of Trust Used 09-12-13

Seth Godin often reminds his readers of the single most important factor in selling a product: trust.

If you don’t trust a business/individual/organization, you won’t give them your business/attention/donation.  It’s that simple.

At kitchenCRATE, we take this challenge seriously.  We are hyper-sensitive about doing (or not doing) anything that may violate customer trust.

Furthermore, we’ve put a few things in place to proactively make sure our customers can trust us.  Here they are:

No Deposit Policy

It’s hard to trust a company that takes your money without giving anything in return.  So long ago, we decided kitchenCRATE (and bathCRATE) are “no deposit” products.

It’s quite simple: our customers don’t pay until we perform.

Does this put us at a bit more risk than our competitors? Sure.  We could start ordering material for a signed job and be left holding the bag if the customer decides to walk away.  Or we could get to the end of a project and have a customer decide not to pay and walk on the bill.

Neither has happened to us, but we’re sure one or both will some day.  We feel this is simply a cost of doing business, a cost of taking risk, a cost of making sure we can look a customer in the eye and tell them they are in control of their money, not us.  And it always helps that we’re confident we will perform.

Liquidated Damages

If we don’t finish a kitchenCRATE project in time, we pay the customer back for each day we’re late.

Now, do we need this as an incentive for making our completion dates? No.   Pride in our work and respect for the customer are motivating enough.  But once again, we’re willing to put our money on the line to help grow trust between us and the customers.

This, too, has never been an issue. We’ve always made our completion dates.  But we feel customers want a little added assurance, so we oblige.

We Live in the Light

If you’ve followed kitchenCRATE (or bathCRATE) very long, you know our brands live a very public lifestyle.  We talk about our projects, employees and customers nearly every day on Facebook, Google+, PinterestLinkedIn, Instagram, houzz.com and yelp.com.

Certainly, there’s an element of this that’s marketing; we want our brands to be known and top of mind when kitchen or bathroom remodels are the topic of conversation.

But in doing so, we also open our brands up to public scrutiny.  We’re acutely aware that even one dissatisfied customer can air their grievances in a very public way, linking to our business pages and personal profiles in the process.

But this is exactly how social media is meant to work.  By engaging with our fans, customers and future customers, we form a relationship of sorts.  And as with any relationship, it’s up to both parties to make sure the relationship is healthy.  If we have an unhealthy relationship with a customer, of course it will show itself publicly.  That’s a good thing. It helps us improve, helps us address the issue, and hopefully leads to healing of the relationship.

So instead of just telling people to trust us, we operate in a trustworthy manor.  And we’d love to earn your trust…

Scott Monday is co-founder and CEO of kitchenCRATE and bathCRATE.  Follow him on Facebook or Linked-In.