Friday, September 30, 2016

Who cares about the customer?

Who cares about the customer?

That's right! Who cares about the customer? At least that's what most construction projects would leave you thinking. There is a strong sense of project centric attitude among contractors in all trades. There are several reasons that this lack of customer service exists, but I will only cover the 3 most common.

3 Main Reasons for lack of customer service

  1. Project focused- Their is no real focus on how or why the customer will use the product or service.
  2. Poor Scheduling- No coordination between trades leaves contractors rushed and unable to be as attentive as they should be.
  3. Indirect Communication- On many projects the subcontractors are unable to communicate directly with the customer or end-user and most go through a General Contractor or Manager.

How do we fix this?

Project Focused. Being project focused is not always a bad thing. Focus on the project at hand to ensure a proper installation is a requirement. However, being solely focused on the project is like wearing blinders. The ultimate focus should be on how to make the installation as useful and helpful for the customer as possible. It's necessary to not just look at the specifications and drawings for a project, but also what the customer is ultimately trying to accomplish.

Poor Scheduling- This is not an easy issue to tackle. Luckily, more and more of the great General Contractors out there like Hannig Construction and Garmong Construction in Terre Haute,IN are really focusing more on coordination of the trades from day one. This really helps set the stage for a successful project in which the trades have sufficient time to not only complete their tasks, but focus on how to make them GREAT for the customer! If you find yourself as one of the poor souls working on a mismanaged project it's imperative that you make it clear how much time you expect you will need to satisfactorily complete your tasks.

Indirect Communication- Over the years I have heard many contractors give many excuses for why the project wasn't exactly what the customer wanted. One of the most common excuses is that they were not able to communicate directly with the customer. My answer to this? Poppycock! I have yet to see a General Contractor not allow you to ask specific questions regarding end usage of an installation. Afterall, the General Contractor wants the customer to be happy as well. Now that being said, should you be asking the customer if you can paint the walls blue because it looks nicer than tan, or use carpet instead of tile because it's easier to install? Absolutely not! Those are things that should be directed to the G.C., or Architect. What I'm talking about are questions that relate to identifying possible shortcomings of the system or task at hand. If the G.C. or C.M. maintains that you must send all correspondence through them (usually this is for documentation purposes), don't be afraid to go through the process. Take the time to ask your specific questions. Send them through the proper channels. The great thing about this method is that everyone becomes aware that you are truly putting the customer first. It shows a true interest in a successful project for contractors and customer alike.

The bottom line

The bottom line is that the customer is paying for this project. Don't they deserve the best possible installation? Wouldn't you want that if you were the customer? Together we can place the customer back in the center of what we do. We can give better customer service, build long-term relationships, and generate more revenue all by focusing on the customer and placing their needs first. If you would like to be put first on your next project book an appointment with Team Tech now and put our Team to work for yours.