Ever since the COVID-19 pandemic came about, businesses have faced a myriad of challenges. There have been constantly changing mandates to contend with, staffing issues, and of course, safety concerns. And then there were the shortages. You may have heard about the shortage of chips for automobiles that caused shipments to be delayed and prices on new cars to go up, or the chlorine shortage that affected those who clean swimming pools. The home improvement industry was affected as well, as supply chain issues caused delays in many of the products we need to complete projects. The companies that manufacture the replacement windows we sell to our San Diego customers fell behind, causing orders to be delayed.
To further complicate things, the demand for home improvement services increased at the same time as all these delays were taking place. Presumably, people were finally finding the time to tackle those home improvement projects that they had been putting off for so long. But this increased demand created challenges—and not just for us—for pretty much the entire home improvement industry. At our own replacement window company, we have been busier than ever during the pandemic.
As a company that prides itself in customer service, we never want to let our customers down. Unfortunately, many of the delays have been beyond our control. But how we handle those delays is definitely within our control. Here’s what we’ve been doing:
Increasing Communication with Customers
Toward the beginning of the pandemic, when people placed their orders for replacement windows, we gave them a quote for our typical turnaround time. When it became clear to us that those timelines were no longer accurate, we contacted those customers right away to let them know that things would be delayed. We updated them on the status of their windows whenever we got updates from our manufacturers and set new installation dates with them when their windows came in. For those who felt uncomfortable having installers in their homes during the pandemic, we stored their windows in our warehouse until they were ready.
As it became clear that delays would be the norm for the foreseeable future, we asked new customers to remain flexible and told them we would install their new windows just as soon as we received them from our manufacturers. Again, we kept those customers informed every step of the way.
Staying in Constant Contact with Vendors
We are fortunate to have great relationships with the manufacturing companies who make the replacement windows we sell. They provide us with regular updates on when we can expect to receive products, but we can also call them at any time to check on the status of our orders. We are able to do this because we work with smaller, regional manufacturers who place a high value on their relationships with independent window companies like us.
Staying in constant contact with our vendors allows us to better serve our customers and give them accurate updates throughout the process.
In conclusion, we are handling the challenges of the pandemic as well as can reasonably be expected. Our customers have been very understanding when there have been delays, for which we are very grateful! We are hoping that things get back to normal soon—for multiple reasons. In the meantime, we thank you for your patience!