Achieving customer satisfaction is an important goal for every project, but it is not always easy. Some clients prove to be very difficult. Even the best construction contractors have had their share of customers that make them grit their teeth and sigh deeply. This last section will conclude our two-part series on signs of problematic clients and how to handle them. Read part one to learn about clients that are indecisive, bargain hunters, and have trust issues.
Before the shovel meets dirt, your client has already given you a long list of requests and demands. They are calling you constantly and expect you to be available 24/7. Be sure to set expectations for your business hours and when you return calls. If during the contract drafting phase of the project, the client is requesting unreasonable payment terms or wants to change the contract language to shift more risk to you, this should be a red flag. Never agree to their demands especially if it will negatively impact your business. Consult with a Boca Raton construction lawyer to ensure the contract manages and allocates risks fairly.
How to Manage Difficult Clients
The right approach can go a long way when it comes to dealing with problematic clients. As we mentioned previously, you can probably spot a difficult client a mile away, but this may not always be the case. Engaging with clients during the preconstruction phase is an important part of the construction process. This is the time to get clear about goals, expectations, budget, costs, and scheduling. Other steps you can take to ensure a successful experience with clients include:
- Be an excellent communicator
- Manage expectations
- Be professional and positive
- Never make promises you cannot fulfill
- Listen to the customer and respond to their complaints
- Always follow up after a job is completed to ensure satisfaction
Protecting Yourself is Key
No matter what type of client you are working with, it is essential that you look out for your own best interest. Some important steps you can take include keeping thorough documentation and photos, drafting a well-written contract, and completing a punch list. Additionally, you should stick to your payment schedules and be sure that you file a Notice of Intent to Lien on every job you do to preserve your right to be paid.
A Boca Raton construction lawyer from Cotney Construction Law is available to help you protect your business and preserve your lien rights. In conclusion, trust your instincts and turn down projects that are more trouble than they are worth.
Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is for general educational information only. This information does not constitute legal advice, is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor should it be relied upon as legal advice for your specific factual pattern or situation.