Have you ever got to the end of a project and thought, “Thank god I don’t have to deal with these people anymore?”
The problem probably got steadily worse as the build progressed…
It may have started with something minor, and then escalated into a relationship that became unbearable for both parties...
The end result can be anything from an underwhelmed client, to a disgruntled ex-client that feels ripped off.
In some rare cases this is unavoidable, but in most instances it simply comes down to managing expectations...
It’s Important To Deliver A Great ‘Experience’
According to research performed by Socialfresh, 80% of building companies believe they are delivering a superior experience to their clients.
However, only 8% of their clients agree.
So while professional builders listen to their clients and address their concerns...
Old school builders are simply avoiding having to communicate with their clients wherever possible...
So stop producing unsatisfied clients.
You Need To Create Raving Fans
And start creating raving fans by first managing and then exceeding your clients’ expectations.
One of the biggest myths in our industry is that the more you do for free, the more likely the client is going to give you a great testimonial or even recommend you to their friends and family.
The truth is, it’s the opposite. The more you give, the more they expect. And when you give away too much for free, the client starts to suspect you overcharged them in the first place!
So they keep pushing for more, to make sure they are getting what they feel they have already paid for.
It’s a slippery slope, which can lead to distrust and disappointment on both sides.
So don’t listen to those ‘experts’ out there that have never run a building company, yet are happy to tell you how to run yours.
Be fair with your clients, but be firm and explain to them why variations and extensions of time have to be paid for.
You may be surprised how understanding your clients can be…
Here are some tips that may help you.
Establish Clearly Defined Deliverables
The first one covers managing your clients’ expectations by establishing clearly defined deliverables.
When planning your job schedule, make sure you have included regular contingencies that cover inclement weather.
By allowing weather days between milestones, your milestone completion dates and your project completion date are far more likely to be hit on time, or even early.
By keeping your job schedule up-to-date and including any delays caused by weather, variations, or suppliers, you will be in a position to either reassure your client that the project is on target, or advise them of a revised provisional handover date along with the reasons why.
Foster Regular And Open Communication
You can also manage your clients’ expectations by focusing on regular and open communication.
By making communication a priority, any pain points or frustrations you or your client are feeling can be discussed and resolved before they become a bigger issue.
Document your completed milestones and regularly check in with your client to discuss your progress and an overview of what will be happening in the next few weeks. They’ll love the insight!
If you find that you are unable to meet a certain expectation or accept a variation request that your client suddenly sprung on you, be sure to communicate the reason why.
Simply saying “no” without an explanation is generally far less effective than helping your client understand your position.
However, one of the best ways to managing client expectations is by building relationships.
The fact is, we like people that like us.
And, we are more tolerant of people we know, like and trust compared to people that we hardly know, or simply do business with.
Therefore relationships are incredibly important in business, and not just for getting the sale.
So how do you get people to like you?
Simple! Be transparent, honest and take a genuine interest in their lives.
When things go wrong, don’t try to cover it up, explain what has happened and what you are doing to resolve the problem.
When you meet with them, try and discover things that you have in common and take an interest in their lifestyle.
You never know what it could lead to….
For the right questions to ask your new prospects, in the right order, download the Builders' Qualifying Checklist.