The Top 5 Ways to Assure That Your Customer Has a Terrible Remodeling Experience

  1. Of course, at the top of the list is you will need to show up late. But don't just show up late for the first appointment, be consistent. Show up late for everything. Tell the customer you will complete the job in two weeks, collect a deposit check and then don't even show up for two weeks.
  2. This item is as important as #1 (possibly even more important). That is, don't keep your promises. If you kept your promises you would be predictable. And who wants to be predictable? In order to keep your customers on their toes it's important to be mysterious.
  3. Overlook potential extra charges in the beginning. For example, if you are going to replace a tile floor in a customer's bathroom don't point out to them upfront that you will likely need to replace all or most of the subfloor plywood. By giving them that information you would be showing your cards and a good gambler never shows his hand.
  4. Juggle jobs. Customers love this one. Start a job, work three days and then move the crew to another job without telling your customer what you are doing. And to take this item even further it's important to return with an entirely new crew, a crew that the customer is unfamiliar with. Because, as you know, people love to have strange people in their home.
  5. Ask your customer for 90% of the money before you are 50% complete with the work. This gives customers the opportunity to practice being trusting. Everyone needs practice being trusting. And you know that's the truth!

You may be asking yourself, why is Jack creating a list of how to ensure a horrible experience for remodeling customers? I have created this list because the handyman business is a Cereal business. By saying that I mean that there are a lot of fruits, flakes and nuts in the business. If you desire for your business to thrive over the long term you will need to prove that you are not one of the flakes. You will have to earn your customers trust. Believe me when I say that people will not start out in the beginning with a trusting attitude toward you.

I think the long and short of this lesson is that you need to try to act in such a way that you are not put in a position to make excuses. A legitimate excuse is still an excuse. If you know that it's supposed to be a 40 minute drive to get to a customer's house allow yourself an hour or more to get there. Sure, people understand that traffic will cause delays. But, doesn't it make you look better that you arrive on time despite the fact that there is traffic?

Today's crazy culture and hectic pace makes it tempting to take short cuts. A business that survives the test of time is not one built on taking shortcuts; it's the one that's built on going the extra mile.

Article Contributed by:
Jack Severens
Severens Construction Management

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