Unhappy clients can spell big trouble for your business. Just one sour project can snowball into a bad reputation. And of course, we all know that word of mouth spreads like wildfire, especially if the source is extra passionate due to extreme anger.
Prevention is better than cure. So before you run into a big mess, we’re listing down the 10 most common problems that construction clients complain about. Take down notes because these are the issues that you need to avoid.
1. Poor Work Quality
This is the most basic of problems when it comes to construction. The outcome of any project is the main determining factor of whether or not your client is happy with your work. This is where your construction managers come in. There has to be a good system of checks and balances throughout the construction process. It’s also important to ensure that you are getting professionals for your team. Newbies are welcome too, provided that they are well supervised by pros.
2. Failure to Turn Up or Arrive on Time
Business is all about building relationships and that’s why it’s so important to start off on the right foot. The most crucial is on day one of the project. Your crew should be on-site early. Punctuality is a sign of professionalism so it’s a must to reinforce this with your on-site crew.
3. Messiness, Failure to Clean Up
Okay, so with #2 it’s all about first impressions last. What we need to remember is that lasting impressions are important too! Never leave the site in a state of mess. Whether it’s a small home renovation or a brand-new build, a clean-up crew should make the place presentable. It’s also important to clean up at the end of every work day as this is helps motivate the crew for tomorrow’s fresh start. It’s also vital for avoiding work area accidents.
4. Asking for More Money than Agreed
Clients are always on a budget. Period. So unexpected jumps in project cost will surely be met with angst and hesitation. This can be solved by proper planning and adding a bit of a buffer for emergencies.
5. Proposed More Work than Necessary
In simple terms this is called cheating. Please, if you want to stay in business for a long time, always make it a point to provide true value for your customers. These days, it’s so easy to communicate with other people, plus there’s so much research that can be done on the internet. It’s quite hard to outsmart well-researched clients.
6. Failure to Do All the Work Required
There is nothing more infuriating than a contract that’s been fully paid and yet, not fully accomplished. This could be deliberate, or this could be an honest mistake from your end. Again, the key is a good monitoring and reporting system to ensure that all tasks are performed well.
7. Causing Damage to Property
Save yourself from the headaches of a lawsuit, and avoid damaging the property of your clients. It’s as simple as that.
8. Disputes Over When to Pay
Most of us charge based on progress billing or milestones. Make sure that you and your client are always on the same page over these things. Clarify the details of the contract prior to the actual build process and give them constant updates as to the progress.
9. Miscommunication Between You and Client
Are you always hard to come by? How quickly do you respond to their inquiries? Who is their point-person for any issues that may arise? How often do the clients get updates regarding accomplishments and milestones? What is your agreed method of communication? Minor miscommunication can lead to big problems if you don’t have the proper systems in place.
10. Delays Over Completion
Imagine yourself getting all excited (for months) to live inside your dream home. You’ve spent money renting a smaller place for the meantime, or you’ve been living with a friend or some relatives during the construction. You may have also spent money for temporary storage of your belongings… And then right when you’re ready to move in, BOOM! There’s a 2-week delay. Actually, even a week or a few days of delay is enough to infuriate any client. Again, this will end the project on a bad note which is a big no-no!
And there you have it. The 10 most common complaints that builders get from their clients. Make sure to avoid them before it’s too late.
If you think about it, most of these problems can be solved by proper communication, sufficient planning and effective project management– the keys to the success of any construction business. Now it’s up to you to create happy customers!