Dream Doors Dorchester, a franchise of the UK's largest kitchen facelift retailer, has just had its 500th customer testimonial posted on the consumer monitoring website, Checkatrade.com. Launched in 2005 by Dorset locals, Andy and Shelley Stewart, Dream Doors Dorchester is one of the oldest showrooms in a brand that now boasts more than 40 franchised outlets stretching as far north as Newcastle. The Stewarts have been awarded an average of 9.6 out of ten for courtesy, reliability, tidiness and workmanship.
“We're very proud of what we've achieved over the last eight years,” says Andy. “And understanding what our customers think about us is an important benchmark. We know the products Dream Doors supplies are first class, and we're confident we provide a service to match. But it's nice to get positive feedback and even nicer when we know it's totally independent. None of these people were obliged to review our business, and the fact that 500 have taken the time to do so is amazing.”
Customers submit their own comments to the Checkatrade website, an unbiased review that gives anyone thinking about buying a new kitchen an honest appraisal of Dream Doors and its franchisees.
On 17th August, one customer in Dorchester who had their kitchen refurbished wrote: “A fantastic job. Our kitchen was transformed with minimal mess and disruption to us. Great advice, help and service. We would use this company again. Thanks!”
“A completely new look kitchen in one day with minimum disruption and left clean, tidy and ready for use. Polite, professional and cheerful, I would highly recommend this company to anyone,” wrote another customer from Weymouth on 12th March, giving the Stewarts ten out of ten after a quick and fuss-free installation of new kitchen doors and an extractor.
Speed of installation and minimal disruption in the home are what attracts most customers to Dream Doors. It also helps that a typical facelift – new doors, drawer fronts, worktops, a sink and taps – will be half the cost of a comparable full kitchen. And that includes the installation, which is carried out by franchisees' own kitchen fitting teams.
“Dream Doors offers a really flexible service, something other kitchen firms can't compete with,” says Shelley. “Whatever our customers want, we're almost always able to say yes to them. If they need some new doors to fit an existing kitchen, we can supply made-to-measure replacements that can be fitted in just one day. If they want to incorporate worktops and a sink, or a total refurbishment, we sell some of the best products around at very competitive prices.
“But it's not just about price with our customers. They want to feel reassured that their money is safe, and to know that we will do a good job. As a franchise of Dream Doors, we're part of a huge brand, the biggest name in kitchen facelifts. But unlike other national companies, our customers deal with us – the business owners – and we know this ownership leads to greater customer service.”
The Stewarts have also been recognised by the franchising industry for their ethical business practice and consistent levels of customer service. They were regional finalists in the BFA's Franchisee of the Year Awards two years ago, and have been top franchisees in the Dream Doors network for the last five years, winning the overall award in 2010.