Over the years, The Home Depot has courted the “do it yourself” customer. Through ad campaigns on radio, television and in print, we are encouraged to tackle projects on our own. Aided, of course, by the Home Depot‘s volume pricing and drawing upon their associate’s expertise. The stores have hosted workshops for years geared toward empowering people to tackle home improvement projects themselves and since 2009, if we ever doubted ourselves, the voice of actor Ed Harris has been there to remind us (in a mature and friendly voice) that we can do it, and The Home Depot can help.
Working in Lumberyards
Before I began learning the trade of carpentry, I spent some time working in lumberyards. In the lumber business, the “do it yourself” customer is (or was then) often referred to as a weekend warrior. These folks would flood the place on Saturday mornings asking questions which, for lack of a better word, frightened the yard employees. They were used to dealing mostly with professional contractors.
I remember lumberyard employees being short tempered. They have little capacity to suffer those they saw as fools. I believe this hostile environment set the stage for the rise of the DIY friendly home center. After all, before the Internet became the go to place for knowledge and advice, our options were to read a book, to take a course or to ask someone who might know.
I mention my time in lumberyards in an attempt to determine whether my impression of home centers, over the years, was colored by that experience. Honestly, I almost felt as though the tables turned in these home improvement superstores. And I, now – a professional carpenter, am valued less than the DIY customer. I do know that I have had some complaints with home centers. These range from not stocking this or that, to being difficult to navigate. A general feeling that they are a real time-suck and the fastest way to break your stride when working on a project.
Enter the Home Center
I changed my opinion on this, however, as two large home centers (The Home Depot is one) are situated right in the middle of where I do business. Relying on them extensively, especially while working on smaller projects, I historically limit my purchases to odd items and small lumber lists, leaving large orders to be filled by my local lumberyard where I have both an account and a knowledgeable road rep to aid me.
Still, as mentioned, I have noticed some changes at my local Home Depot. These changes were not something I could articulate but had to do with increased activity and a restructuring of the area surrounding the pro desk.
So, when The Home Depot contacted Building Moxie to visit a local store I felt compelled to take them up on their offer. More on this is forthcoming, but first I would like to tell you about one person at my local Home Depot who has done more to change my view of the company than any other. His name is Skip, and I will tell you about him tomorrow.
This post is part of series focusing on the Home Depot‘s FIRST for Pro program. With it, Barry got a behind the scenes look at their suite of pro services. These posts track a recent visit to his local Home Depot in Lewes, Delaware.
— To read more from this Series ::
- A Standard of Customer Service
- Volume Pricing, Commercial Credit & Pro Paint Rewards . . .
- F.I.R.S.T. & the First Phone
- History of The Home Depot & The Pro Desk
The Home Depot‘s FIRST for Pro services program addresses pro contractors’ biggest needs. Understanding what they do, getting them in and out quickly and giving them the best possible price. Highlights of the program include:
- FIRST for Pro Power Hours featuring extra staff on the floor during the morning rush. This includes dedicated loaders to get Pro customers in and out fast.
- To make Pro shopping even quicker, the program offers two-hour pickup. Call in an order and The Home Depot will have it ready to go within two hours.
- If you can’t make it to the store, the FIRST for Pro program can arrange free on-site delivery for paint and appliance shipments via Pro Direct. They even help coordinate large shipments directly from the vendor.
- Where permitted, The Home Depot offers FIRST for Pro dedicated parking areas close to the store.
- Dedicated Pro associates at The Home Depot designated to deliver outstanding customer service.
To find out more, check back for future posts in the series or visit Homedepot.com/Pro.
Disclosure Statement – The Home Depot partnered with bloggers such as me to help promote their FIRST for Pro program. As part of this promotion, I received compensation. They did not tell me what to purchase or what to say about the products. The Home Depot believes that consumers and bloggers are free to form their own opinions and share them in their own words. The Home Depot’s policies align with WOMMA Ethics Code, FTC guidelines and social media engagement recommendations.