Q&A with the Owner of Pathway Design & Construction

Having received the Service Excellence  Guildmaster Award* for the second year in a row, we’ve been getting a fair number of questions about how Pathway manages to keep our clients so happy that they score our work so well in reviews.

There are no tricks, just a few solid basics. So, we thought there was no better person to answer these questions than our Owner, Paul Kocharhook.

Here we go…

Since problem resolution ranks highly as a driver of satisfaction for most clients – what steps does Pathway take upfront to try to avoid having problems occur?

Communication is our key element to customer satisfaction.

Critical components that make up quality communication are:

  • listening and asking clarifying questions
  • paying close attention to detail, and
  • premium accessibility in the form of an integrated online platform for all our client communication needs

Direct access & communication
Our client-homeowners can access and assess their project from any computer, tablet, or smartphone. They can track photos of the construction progress, see the build schedule, view and approve change orders and selections, as well as access other important documents. Clients can easily communicate with our team 24/7, from home, work or even vacation.

Since integrating this solution company-wide, we have seen a remarkable increase in our ratings for communication.

Employees are trained on using the platform and have office support should issues arise.

In your experience, what is the type of job or project that tends to be the toughest to earn high satisfaction from your clients?

Every project is different and has its own challenges. With that being said, we’ve found that the clients who have tight or fixed budget projects tend to be harder to satisfy.

We value every client and want to produce high-quality work with minimum stress to the homeowner, however, when a client is on a tight budget, compromises must be made.

This can be frustrating and challenging for a client, whether it’s a kitchen remodel, a bathroom addition or some other remodel project.

How do you deal with these challenges?

We simply look for the best solutions and compromises as a partner to our clients. We may begin to speak with trade partners about ideas they have to cut costs for their scope of the project. Some homeowners opt to purchase their own supplies and we work with them on the installation and compatibility. On the downside, sometimes the product may be of lesser quality or a possibly salvaged item that may end up needing additional parts to make it work. In the end they may not save any money.

Tightening of the budget such as asking a trade to do the work for a little less can create problems in other areas. This typically results in a trade partner who is rushing to complete tasks and may not complete the job to our standards. Rushing can also lead to substandard products being installed resulting in homeowner frustration about faulty products.

To avoid disappointment, we are transparent in what we can deliver from the beginning (e.g. the quality, budget, timeframe) and we ensure regular communication and updates throughout the project.

Ready for remodeling stories?

​Review a kitchen project, or the Leschi master bath for ideas and to get a sense of what it’s like to work with Pathway Design and Construction.

*The Guildmaster Award is a special recognition presented by GuildQuality (a customer satisfaction surveying software which gives special recognition to companies that demonstrate an ability to deliver a consistently superior customer experience.)

About Olga Lockhart

Olga Lockhart, Marketing Manager for Pathway Design & Construction, researches, analyzes, and writes about these key topics: Universal Design, Aging in Place, Northwest building & Seattle remodeling trends, air quality issues, and solutions, during construction. She's also willing to chat about travel and culture out of the office.

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