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5 Solutions to Tricky Customer Questions

ABC Supply customer questions
May 30, 2022 at 9:00 a.m.

By ABC Supply. 

How to establish your expertise with a client as a contractor. 

People have more information than ever, which can sometimes mean more educated customers, but can also mean that they are misled more easily. With so many sources and conflicting information, homeowners might get a little confused about who the real experts are. Read on for some ways to assure homeowners that they can trust your expertise and learn how to answer difficult homeowner questions. 

1 - Sell your professional experience 

There are a lot of “experts” your customers may reference when asking you questions. If your customer asks why you’re doing something one way when they saw it done another way in an article or on a show, be sure to sell the expertise you have in the industry. For example, “There are a few different ways you can approach this type of work. Based on my professional experience and these XYZ factors, my opinion is to…” 

2 - Be wary what you agree to 

Above all, contractors are in the business of people, so it can be difficult to say no to extra customer requests. However, sometimes saying “no” is the right thing to do if your client isn’t willing to pay for the added service, or you simply don’t have the expertise to tackle a specific task. For example, how do you handle projects where your customers ask you to remove and reinstall their satellite dishes? Some contractors may have the experience and resources to do this on their own, and some might not. Either way, be upfront about your capabilities to avoid issues down the road. 

To prevent difficult questions about costs later in a project, take time to walk through your scope of work before a job begins. And if you notice trends in the types of requests you get during a project, consider including disclaimers for what you are and aren’t responsible for throughout the lifetime of a project. 

3 - Turn additional client requests into business opportunities 

Can you install gutters? Can you install windows? When your customers start making requests that are outside your scope of work, you or your crew may feel pressured to say yes without discussing additional charges. But as you know, time is money, so don’t get in the habit of giving away work for free. 

Instead, train yourself and your team to respond to these customer requests in a way that shows you’re accommodating but won’t perform the favor for free. For example, “Yes, we’re happy to take care of that while we’re here. I can provide you with an estimate for the work right away.” 

If the extra work will take your team off their timeline, be clear about that upfront and be careful not to spread yourself and your crew too thin: “Because it’ll take a few hours for us to complete that, we’re not going to get through everything we planned for today. It may push the completion date of your project back a little bit. Are you OK with the added cost and a later project completion date?” 

With clear and upfront communication, you can maintain a great relationship with your client without hurting your budget or timeline. If you are regularly asked to perform tasks outside your original scope of work, like installing gutters, windows, doors or decking, diversifying your service offerings could be a way to turn these customer requests into business opportunities. 

4 - Take the time to inform your customers 

Can you get the project done faster? Why do you recommend one product over another? Can you do it cheaper? When answering these questions, it’s important to take time to explain the reasoning behind your actions. 

Consider showing your customer product samples or digital renderings that help them envision the end result. ABC Supply’s Solution Centers are a great place to start because they give your customers hands-on time with actual materials and color options. Our Pictureit software allows contractors to create virtual photo renderings that can show customers exactly what they’re getting before a project begins. It can also be helpful to walk your customers through your timeline, so they understand all the steps that need to happen. 

5 - Train your team on when to respond (and when not to) 

You may not always be on-site, so it’s important your team can answer customer questions appropriately. Make sure your crew knows how to handle different kinds of questions, and when they need to pass requests along to you or a project lead. 

Regardless of the type of questions you receive, always remember to be thoughtful about the way you respond and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. 

Learn more about ABC Supply in their RoofersCoffeeShop® Directory or visit www.abcsupply.com

Original article source: ABC Supply



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