Everything that I am going to say here should be common sense and not necessary to be discussed but, unfortunately, I feel that I have to make a list. You will be amazed by the horror stories of the so-called“installers” while working in people’s homes. I URGE you to be different, polite, and to use your best judgment while working on someone’s property.
I also have to mention that you should work as a TEAM with your colleagues (workrooms, dealers, and decorators). This is NOT a battle of egos. Everyone makes mistakes and your job as an installer is to remedy the situation as best as possible without throwing anyone under the bus. The more neutral you act on the job site, the more respected you become. Please check your ego, personal life problems, and differences with your colleagues at the door. Nobody will win if you don’t act in a professional manner.
The advice below has no particular order of importance and all of these suggestions should not be taken lightly:
- Be on time. Be on time. Be on time! If you are going to be late, call and advise the client and the decorator/dealer. Don’t wait until three minutes before the arrival time to call. Everyone has a GPS these days, so a “heads up” call should not be a problem if you see that you will be late. Please respect people’s schedules; arriving late means you didn’t plan accordingly. Pro tip: Add a buffer to your installation slots. It is better to have extra time for a cup of coffee than to create friction with clients and designers for being late.
Do not discuss anything political, religious or anything even remotely controversial with a client or designer at a client’s home.
- Present yourself in a professional manner. Don’t show up with a baseball cap on or sunglasses on your head. Don’t wear flip-flops. Cargo shorts are OK, especially in hot regions or for the summer months.
- Take showers regularly (I cannot believe I have to write this). If you use cologne, please don’t overdo. On the other end of that, clients will also likely be turned off if you or the treatments smell of cigarettes. So if you need an excuse to quit smoking, this is it!
- Some clients prefer that you don’t park in their driveway and others don’t have a problem with this. It’s important to be mindful if your car has an oil leak. You don’t want to stain a driveway or have to pay to have that cleaned. Place a piece of cardboard under the engine just in case. Always ask the client first if parking in their driveway is OK. If not, unload the tools and treatments and move your car to the street or to a paid parking lot.
- Make sure you test each product after installment. It’s important to ensure the clients’ understanding of operating their new treatments. Be sure to explain this to them carefully and not in a hurry. Ask them to open and close the treatments while you are there so you can advise as necessary. Special attention should be given when motorized products are involved.
- Do not take phone calls in the install area. Go to your van if you need to discuss an installation issue. Avoid personal calls while in people’s homes.
- Do not chat more with the homeowner as the designer/dealer does. The homeowner is NOT your client, the dealer/designer/workroom is. Respect the hierarchy.
- Do not look at homeowner photos and ask questions about them. Be aware of cameras and baby monitors inside and outside of the home and converse accordingly.
- If there are issues with the installation, take the designer outside to discuss. You never want to discuss these issues in front of the client (of course remaining aware of exterior cameras/sound devices).
- Be respectful of homeowner furnishings (cover floors, tabletops, etc., if placing boxes, tools, etc., on them).
- Be positive about the project and don’t make negative comments about it or how it could have been done differently or better (tell that to the designer privately).
- Do not try to pick up the ladies or men of the household or workplace. Act professionally in all regards.
- Be careful with ladders and equipment. Wear shoe covers or clean indoor shoes inside the home.