What Your Customers Are Looking For In A Contractor

It’s easy to assume the only thing customers really care about is that the job gets done in the end. While delivering on your service is obviously a big deal, there’s a lot customers expect to see along the way — an overall professional attitude that will determine whether or not they enjoyed working with you, and the most important part, if they would recommend your work to others.

The first thing you’ll notice is that these seem obvious on the surface. And yes, they are somewhat obvious, but many contractors tend to “relax” once they’ve secured the deal and open themselves up for these kinds of mistakes.

So let’s break it down so you can be prepared:

Punctuality

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It starts when you receive the lead — how long did you take to reply and offer your services? If you were the first to answer, they are much more likely to choose you. As an aside though, even if you weren’t the first to answer (which can happen), there’s still a lot you can do to win customers over.

But the punctuality aspect continues after they choose you. They will rightfully expect that you’re punctual for meetings and for providing your service, as well as respecting agreed upon deadlines.

It might seem this goes without saying — of course the customer expects punctuality, right?

Like we said, the “relaxed” attitude once the deal was made can lead to contractors feeling like as long as they deliver in the end, the customer will be happy, but it doesn’t always work that way.

Quality of the work

Nothing breaks a contractor’s reputation more than a customer discovering the service they paid for as quality craftsmanship turned out to be less than adequate. And when that happens, they tend to be very vocal about it.

The quality of your work throughout the entire relationship is crucial to reassure the customer they’ve made the right choice in the beginning by choosing you instead of others.

This extends to subcontractors as well if you work with those. When working with subcontractors, you cannot hide behind the mistakes they make — as far as the client is concerned you are the one responsible for the work they deliver, and they are right to do so.

Pro-activity

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This topic is linked to punctuality — reply to customers when they message or call you, and do your best to send in estimates within a respectable deadline.

But overall, it boils down to being responsive and proactive. Make sure they get their answers so everyone is on the same page, solve all their doubts, offer references and the job will flow much smoother for both parties.

Transparency

Once they’ve made the investment, customers will be hypersensitive to anything that seems shady. After all, no one enjoys being lied to under any circumstances, but when you’ve offered someone money in exchange for a service and they treat you with dishonesty, they will not take kindly to that. And nor they should.

Here’s where writing down an estimate and contract with every possible detail of your agreement really drives the point home. The contract is especially useful, as it binds both parties to the agreement in a fair way. In a bad case scenario where the customer is making unfair demands, you can always point to the contract and remind them that is not what you agreed on. The same goes for your side — if you fail to deliver or cut corners where you shouldn’t, the client has every right to point that out.

Fair prices

There’s a balance to be achieved here. High prices that are way off the average will certainly scare customers away, while prices so low they seem too good to be true will probably resonate as so — they are, indeed, too good to be true. Prices way below market value probably mean you’re cutting corners, using low quality materials, or not following all the required rules and laws.

Therefore, it’s worth knowing how much your service costs to provide a fair price customers can see is within the average, because remember, they are most likely receiving offers from other contractors as well.

Charm

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By far the most subjective of all, but charm goes a long way. It’s very hard to objectively explain how being charming works because people are very different — both you and your customers — and there’s no way a single strategy would work for everyone.

In short, we must be subjective in our approach as well:

Surely you can think of someone you’ve hired in the past that left an impression on you. Or perhaps a salesperson that really struck a chord with you. These people were not only good professionals that likely followed every topic we’ve discussed so far, but they charmed you. You were happy you hired them. You were happy you bought what they were selling.

If you’re punctual, honest, and provide high-quality work, you’re on your way to make clients happy. But if you charm them, they will remember you in a special way — a way that makes them recommend you to friends and family, and the way it makes them call again when they need new services.

The easy way to think about is this: every new customer could turn into a friend. So be professional, cordial and punctual, sure, but also don’t let them think all you see when you look at them is a giant dollar sign.


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