An architecture firm's thank-you strategy

Donald A. Gardner Architects finds that showing builders its appreciation on a regular basis fosters better relationships.

By Malessa Etheridge, FSB contributor

FSB -- Since its makeover by our team of experts two years ago, Donald A. Gardner Architects has as worked steadily on improving its customer service, drawing on advice from FSB's team of experts. Given that its website was a good source of business, the family-run firm focused on making it easier for clients to navigate. It also added a "help center" that allows them to e-mail or call in questions. "We have three people working on that who field 5,000 e-mails each year" said Heather McGowen, marketing communications coordinator.

To show its customer appreciation, the company added a "thank you" system earlier this year. Depending on the amount of their purchase, clients receive hand-written thank-you cards, discounts and coupons.

The FSB makeover revealed that builders are often irate because it is hard to find the technology support they need on projects. Gardner Architects has since lined up professionals to help them with this. "I know the customers have been pretty happy with this," said McGowen  Top of page

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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.