When you start working with a new customer, it’s more than just a job. You have the chance to win over a customer for life. That’s why it’s important to build trust from the minute they answer the phone.
Transparency is vital when looking to build trust. Both parties involved must communicate effectively to ensure a good working relationship. Here are a few ways you can grow customer and contractor transparency.
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Why Transparency Is Important
When working with a new contractor, many customers have hesitation when it comes to hiring. In “Closing A Tough Sale BY Alleviating Customers’ 5 Biggest Fears” we touch on a few of them:
- Customers Worry They Won’t Get A Fair Price
- Customers Fear The Contractor Won’t Listen To What They Want
- Customers Worry The Job Won’t Get Completed On Time
- Customers Are Afraid The Contractor Will Take Their Money & Run
- Customers Are Concerned About How The Work Will Disrupt Their Household
While each of these concerns can be handled differently, one way to encourage trust is by promoting transparency. That starts with you.
As the contractor, you are the representative for your company and future business you’ll do with the customer. Transparency with your work starts with you. Here are a few things you can do to practice honesty with the customer.
Answer Their Questions
As I’ve mentioned before, a customer is calling you because you’re the expert. It would be best if you were ready to answer questions about the project from the initial call and as the project continues. If a customer is concerned with the length of time the project will take, be honest. Don’t tell them less time, because if it ends up taking longer, it will reflect poorly on you. As the old saying goes “honesty is the best policy” and sharing your expertise can boost the customer’s trust in your work.
Be Upfront About Price
In the list of customer concerns, the issue of price comes up twice. The more transparent you can be when preparing an estimate, the more trustworthy you will be to the customer. Try to include an itemized list to show them where their money is going. At the same time, don’t try to cut corners on items the customer may not understand. Be upfront about what an item is and why it’s needed as well as included in the price.
Show Up On Time, Quote Them Quickly
First impressions say a lot about your business. Showing up on time will help you to stand out from the rest. Showing up for a job or estimate on time shows that you are responsible and are taking the job seriously.
Also, when you go visit a job site for an estimate, be sure to get them the quote quickly. It’s best to do so within 48 hours.
When Issues Arise; Tell Them
When you’ve won the job, the work isn’t done. You must continue to be transparent with customers throughout the process. As we all know, not everything goes to plan when it comes to home improvement. It’s important not to hide this from the customer but rather be upfront about the obstacles and how you intend to overcome it. You may even have multiple solutions and the customer can pick the one they feel most comfortable with. Be honest if you think the job is going t take longer as well, don’t try and rush through just to end up an unsatisfactory product in the end.
Encouraging Customer Transparency
Now that we’ve gone over a few ways you can be transparent with the customer, it’s also essential to encourage honesty from them. After all, it’s a two-way relationship. Here are a few ways you can promote customer transparency:
Accept Negative Feedback
While no one likes negative feedback, when received correctly, it can be beneficial. When a customer gives you negative feedback about a project, you’ve worked on or are working on, respond professionally without getting angry or loud. While you are the expert, they are the customer and their satisfaction is important. You can use that negative feedback to improve. Making a small correction in your work can show the customer you were paying attention to their feedback.
While some homeowners have many questions, others might be too nervous to ask or not sure what to ask. A key to great communication is to ask open-ended questions that hopefully promotes more questions from the homeowner. At the end of a visit, ask the homeowner if they have any questions for you about the project. This may open up doors to them asking questions they might not have otherwise mentioned. Be sure to let them know how they can reach you if they do have questions later. Open communication will make for a smooth project.
Ask For Input
Similarly to encouraging questions from the customer, you’ll also want to be sure to get their input on decisions that need to be made. Especially during remodeling projects, you’ll want to be sure you’re making their dream room come true. Don’t just do things how you would like it to look, but rather how the customer would like to live with it.
Transparency is important when it comes to customer service. Honesty will take you a long way, even turn new customers into repeat customers.
This is the last of our Homeowner Trust 101 Series. To see other articles, read: