Complaints against home improvement contractors and construction contractors regularly rank in the top five complaint categories of annual consumer affairs surveys, reports the Consumer Federation of America National Association of Consumer Agency Administrators. The most complaints received from customers involve poor construction contractor work quality, and inaccurate completion estimates. Ensuring a positive home improvement experience for your customer leads to future referrals.
To present your company as honest and well run, you’ll want to ensure you’re providing your potential customers the following information when you have your first formal meeting.
• Copies of your state license and registration
• Correct and current contact information for at least three references in your customers area
• Proof of contractor’s insurance
• Copies of any professional certifications you earned
Explain the significance of each item so your customers feel engaged in the construction process and don’t feel like you’re unnecessarily increasing costs. For example, if presenting a copy of your professional certification from the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), explain to the customer that NARI only awards s certificate to established, professional contractors with a clean background checks who’ve passed a written comprehension examination.
Providing yours customer with the above items upfront says:
• You and your company are organized and proactive in attitude.
• You and your business are transparent and in compliance with the necessary regulations.
Low-ball price estimates might attract initial interest, but they won’t boost your client referral rate in the long-term. Customers are less likely to feel cheated if they understand the pricing details before you begin the project. Review the price estimate with your customers and explain why a specific brand or material type is necessary for the project. Always provide a print-out of your comprehensive estimate along with a basic contract that includes the following information.
• A fully itemized list of estimated required materials including the brand and quantity.
• Estimated hours
• Total anticipated cost
• Also include possible scenarios that may increase costs such as discovering mold or unexpected rotten boards.
• Check in with your customers frequently throughout the project. Inform them immediately of any unexpected obstacles and explain how this will affect the project price or timeline.
• Contain your construction-related mess whenever possible. A simple tarp or clear panel over the doorway keeps your customers from inhaling dust and residue. Always ask the customers’ permission before moving furniture or altering the home beyond the scope of the project.
• A construction contractor with integrity will call customers within a few weeks of completing the project to answer any questions or concerns they have and address them as necessary.
• Provide extra business cards to make referring your services easy.
Distinguishing yourself professionally as one of the best home improvement contractors through superior customer service will ensure future business opportunities.