Medallion Bank believes in helping small businesses and home improvement contractors succeed in their operations. Being consumers ourselves, we know that trading hard-earned money for a product or service can be stressful. And when stress rises, so do the odds of a disagreement.
Personality differences or differing project expectations between the customer and contractor can lead to distracting and costly conflicts. We recommend establishing clear and reasonable expectations from the start. Offering communication and updates at regular intervals is also an important way to resolve conflicts and stay within the home improvement project’s deadline.
The following are some ways that home improvement companies and contractors can reduce conflict and maintain positive, professional relationships with customers.
Start With Listening
Take a step back and start with a conversation. Giving a series of presentations without listening is very ineffective for working with a client. Listening and engaging in conversation helps you better understand your client’s wants and needs. This helps you act as the client’s consultant, rather than as their sales representative. It is a good idea to under-promise while drawing up the contract and to over-deliver on the project as it progresses. Communication can go a long way towards a home improvement project’s smooth progression.
Budgeting and Financing
During the initial meeting, home improvement companies should discuss the project’s financing, operational budget, and payment terms. You should pay special attention to the project’s overall affordability, and less attention should go towards the overall project cost.
You want to highlight the value of the completed project and negotiate a price and budget that the client can manage. Prevent conflicts related to the last invoice or completion certificate by offering a written estimate and sticking close to it. This estimate should lay out the project’s cost, length, and scope.
It should also specify when and how the client should make payments (especially if the source of payments is financing). Discuss each aspect of the estimate with the client and work to resolve any pain points for the client. Honesty and openness are key virtues for handling the project’s budget and financing options.
Set Communication Timetables
Once the project starts, you should discuss how and when you will communicate about the project with your client. Both parties should establish realistic availability times, listing availability as honestly as possible. Doing so creates a greater sense of respect for each party’s time and communication criteria.
Some home improvement projects will go on longer than others. For lengthy projects, it is best to offer weekly updates. During these weekly updates, you can also review the home improvement materials and stages as they happen. This benefits you primarily by keeping the client sufficiently informed. It also shows your client that you take the project’s progression seriously and intend to over-deliver on the client’s project expectations.
The information about the project and your home improvement company can be overwhelming. Home improvement companies or contractors can alleviate some of their client’s difficulties by giving them a leave-behind document that covers preferred communication methods, response times, payment terms, and other relevant items. Think of it as an “FAQ” resource for your client to have on-hand.
If you are seeking high-quality contractor financing, reach out to Medallion Bank. We offer standard installment loans with competitive interest rates, as well as a variety of promotional loan options. For more information, click here.