Recently, Western Specialty Contractors, the self-appointed largest specialty contractor group in the nation, released an article titled How to Avoid Common Mistakes When Selecting Your Contractor. This is not only great information for consumers but also for contractors. This article is perfect for contractors, showing you a few great ways to, in the colloquial, not be “that guy”.
The six points brought up in this article provide a good start for anyone who wants to go above and beyond for their consumer customers.
- Don’t make yourself a commodity. According to Merriam-Webster, commodities are goods or services that are so ubiquitous that price is the ultimate factor. You don’t have to be the lowest priced fabricator/installer around to get customers. In fact, thinking of yourself as a commodity only leads to imperfect work with no follow-up. Savvy consumer will look at all of the benefits you add before considering price.
- Be an expert at what you do. Literally, any unskilled worker can fabricate and install a countertop. However, doing it well is in the realm of expertise. Often, hiring an unskilled contractor leads to more problems than the money is worth. For instance, if you provide a guarantee, fixing errors and conducting repairs could very well put you out of business. Consumers are urged to research their contractors’ qualifications by asking for referrals from previous customers. Will they have to hire a different contractor to fix all your mistakes? This is where reputation comes into play. Make yourself a reputable contractor in your area of service, and price will play less of an importance.
- Be dependable. If you offer a warranty, like most contractors do, always see it through, and try not to be difficult about it. If repairs or adjustments are necessary, fix the issues. The longer you are in business, the better your reputation of dependability will be. Never run away from a problem. In that way, you offer your customers security.
- Be proactive in your communications. Good contractors always communicate with the customer. They go above and beyond to provide all the information a consumer will need before it is asked of them. No one likes to track down a contractor over a situation that was never explained to them, especially if it is a fairly common situation.
- Don’t ignore your reputation. Every tip in this article helps you build a reputation, which is not something to be ignored. Always provide your customers with lists and examples of whom you have worked for in the past. Case studies and testimonials also help a great deal. Offer references that are verifiable. Allow new customers to talk to your older customers.
- Stand out from the crowd. Consumers are being taught to not “treat all possible solutions the same”. Other than price, make it known to your customers what other services you provide. This includes materials, safety, scheduling and much more. Remember, if you do quality work the first time around, expensive repairs will not be needed, thus degrading your reputation. Value comes from many different areas. Sell on value and not on price alone.