I have many clients
who tell me that they've never been sued. If a problem develops, they work with
their clients and try to resolve it. Working as a contractor who does new
construction or remodeling has never been harder. Clients turn to the internet and
believe they know how to do it faster, better and less expensively. They are
savvy consumers who monitor time spent on the job and costs of materials.
Sometimes they work at home and keep close tabs on the work. The
pressure on contractors is enormous, and in some cases, can make them
discouraged and less motivated to do their best. Despite working in a stressful
profession, contractors should always strive to do their best; even if the
owner is very, very difficult.
The reason for this
is simple. A contractor or construction company's reputation can make or break
his business. I have had clients receive bad reviews on known websites and seen
them severely damage their financial condition. Unfair as it may seem, once a
bad review is posted, it is extremely difficult, if not impossible to remove. We
all seem to remember the bad reviews even if there are numerous good ones.
says getting a new client is hard. It is much easier to get new business from
an old client, so it is important to keep the relationship on good terms. In
addition, most established businesses get their work through word-of-mouth. In
that respect, you are only as good as your last job. References are everything.
On that note, the
other day I heard a story that amazed me. As part of my practice, I coach my
clients on how to deal with difficult clients. Some have had the door slammed
in their faces, the locks changed, received nasty emails or been wrongfully
terminated. One client was having repeated issues with a job, but he handled
every insult with class and respect. He never challenged the owner head on,
followed through with his promises and asked for payment nicely. Meanwhile, he
never knew what was coming next.
Imagine his surprise
when he overheard the owner telling a friend what a great job his company had
done! After all his trouble, this same client was giving him an excellent
review and the opportunity for future referrals. So, the next time you want to
throw up your arms and walk off the job, keep this in mind. It is really worth
it to always strive for excellence.