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Why I talk to every customer first!

Main Line Kitchen Design is one of the best kitchen design companies you can work with for many reasons.  One of those reasons is that your first conversation will be with me, the president. I make answering customer calls my highest priority for many reasons including I want every customer to get the best kitchen they possibly can.  Because I talk to so many customers, I’ve had some conversations more than once. 

One recurring theme is that the more confident and insistent a customer is about NOT needing a kitchen designer, the more help they actually need. A call I have all too often goes this way –

Caller: “I know exactly what I want and have my own measurements, so I don’t need a designer. I just need pricing on cabinets.”

Me: “We really don’t do that but let me ask you a few questions. What cabinet brand, door style, and color cabinet, do you want? And how high are your ceilings?”

Caller: “I don’t know. Can I come in and talk to you and see what you have?”

During a call like this, my concerns are that homeowners don’t really know how to measure a kitchen or how to proceed with a successful renovation [Read this story].  Doesn’t it make sense for the party with the experience – i.e., has designed 1000s of kitchens, not just one, to lead the process?

Another repeat conversation starts this way:

Caller: “We just demolished our kitchen, so we need to order cabinets ASAP.”

Me: “What kind of budget were you expecting, and do you have a kitchen design for the space?”

I’ve been doing this for 30 years and no one has ever responded with a specific budget or that they have a design.  Do NOT demo before you have a design.  You are NOT saving any time or money – in the end, you will actually make the process longer and maybe even incur unnecessary costs. 

Dangerous Kitchen4
Dangerous kitchen discussed below

Sometimes callers don’t take the tough love conversation they might need well.

An extreme example is the caller who gave us this review after a brief conversation with me:

“I reached out to this company today to request information for a potential kitchen renovation by filling out their online form and was contacted within 10 minutes of clicking “submit,” which surprised me by a gentleman with a thick NYC accent. I spoke to the gentleman who said he had pulled up my home’s Redfin listing and said that he noticed many “illegal” things in our kitchen. I was taken aback by this, since our very thorough inspector did not say anything in our kitchen was “illegal.” (Besides, what he was pointing out was not “illegal.” In my opinion, this was a scare tactic used to pressure me to use his company).”

Her opinion was incorrect, and my response began this way:

Me: “Please read my response with a thick New York accent for authenticity.
As the owner of our company, I screen our calls. After reading this contact form and looking at the home online, I had several concerns. The homeowner’s present kitchen has building code violations like a range without countertop next to a doorway. This allows handles on the gas stove to extend dangerously out into the doorway and lets the flames from the range possibly set loose clothing or stray hair on fire as unsuspecting people enter the room.”

People who ask to take our plans without a deposit.

Main Line Kitchen Design will measure a customer’s home and give each customer about 12 hours of a designer’s time and expertise all for a $150 deposit. After pricing out the project in detail, customers must pay a 10% deposit on the cabinetry they have selected, before we will provide them with detailed plans, elevations, and drawings.

EVERY customer is told this before we assign a designer. Our kitchen designers also make our deposit requirements VERY clear.

This doesn’t stop some people from asking or demanding the designs, or even surreptitiously photographing them without paying. A conversation might go this way:

Client: “Oh, the designs are beautiful can I have a copy?”

Designer: “As we explained when you called and when we measured, we will gladly provide copies of the designs upon receipt of a 10% deposit.  These designs represent more than 10 hours of work and we do not provide them to be taken to other designers.”

Client: “Okay – I’ll just take a picture, then” as they raise their smart phone.

Designer: “Taking a photo is no different than taking the designs without remitting the required deposit.  This is our policy and how we are able to offer the best designers and competitive pricing.”

Good kitchen designers must have the patience to have these same conversations over and over again. We are here to help but following an organized process is essential to our helping. Watch the following funny video on this subject.

We really are looking forward to speaking with you.

Main Line Kitchen Design’s President Paul McAlary explains our design process in the link below:

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