Pros know success on the job goes beyond the scope of the project. By providing exceptional customer service, it can lead to future jobs and possible referrals. That’s why understanding what it takes to have good contractor etiquette is so important.
It tends to be the details that matter most when facing a potential customer. What you think might not be a big deal could mean the world to a homeowner, possibly causing you to win or lose the job. Let’s review a few contractor etiquette tips to ensure you provide the best service possible.
1. First Impressions Matter
Often, the first contact you will have with a potential customer will be over the phone. However, just because they can’t see you doesn’t mean they are not forming an impression of you or your business. It starts from the first greeting. Always remember to state your name and your business name when answering a call, not only making the customer aware of who they are talking to but also that you are a professional.
As they begin to tell you about their project, be assertive in your evaluation and be as flexible as possible when scheduling an appointment to assess the project. Pay attention to your tone over the phone and make it as sincere as possible.
2. Show Up On Time
Another key to impressing the customer is showing up to your appointment as scheduled. A late contractor could mean the loss of a job or a poor review when the project is finished. Of course, scheduling issues do come up. If you’re running late, always call the homeowner and update them on the timing.
3. Always Prepare A Detailed Estimate
It’s important to remember that providing an estimate is not a favor. An estimate over the phone or written should be as detailed as possible. Be sure to include as many costs as possible and explain what you intend the outcome to be of the project, so they know and correct any unintended expectations.
4. Professional Presentation
It’s important to maintain a professional image when you’re meeting and working with the customer. This is where you can let your company’s brand do the talking. Always show up to a meeting or appointment in you company’s logo t-shirt or uniform. Make sure what you are wearing is clean and wrinkle-free to start. A professional appearance goes a long way in maintaining good contractor etiquette.
5. Keep Dirt Outside
Your work can sometimes include dirt, dust and debris. However, no homeowner wants to find these things throughout their house. Unless you are there to do work, always take off your shoes when entering a home. Think about the work you have done and what you have walked through in those shoes and what you will be tracking through the house. This is good manners for anyone to have, but specifically for contractors.
Additionally, when you’re working in a home, try to keep dirt and dust contained to the area you’re working. Hang up tarp and sheets to keep it away from the living space. This will leave you with a very happy customer.
6. Clean Up Your Area
Similarly, you’ll want to always clean up your work space at the end of the day. This helps ensure customer loyalty and demonstrates to them your professionalism. As you work, put tools back in their proper place and at the end of the project, make it look like new. For more tips, read How Cleaning Up Your Job Site Can Help Your Business.
7. Get Permission
When you’re working in someone’s house, you must understand that you are coming into their living space. Unless granted permission to do so, never go into areas of the home where you are not working, even if a customer is not home. If you need to access an area for a work reason, ask the homeowner first.
Also, always get permission before interacting with any pets. Though the dog or cat may seem friendly, owners can make you aware if they don’t like to be touched. This helps avoid any distress for an animal or for yourself, if the pet does not react well.
8. Answer Any Questions Promptly
Throughout the job, the homeowner is likely to have many questions about the progress of the project. Be sure to answer any questions as quick and professional as possible. The customer is likely not a pro, so be sure to explain things if needed.
9. Supply Your Own Food & Water
Some homeowners are kind to offer a pro a beverage on occasion, but this is not commonplace. Always be prepared with your own food and water, never expecting the homeowner to provide these items. If they do, it’s in your discretion to take them up on the generous offer.
10. Keep Business Cards Handy
At any time, the customer or a potential customer may want to get more information on you and your business. Have your business card on hand so you can win more jobs and represent your company well.
Manners matter. Pros who have good etiquette on the job tend to win more jobs because this impresses the customer. It’s a good idea, if you have employees, to review your standards when it comes to on-the-job etiquette so you can be sure everyone is being the best representation of your company.
Are there any tips you would add to this list? Share with us in the comments below!