How Contractors can Improve Client Relationships
Managing client relationships is vital to the continued success of your business, as high client satisfaction leads to more recommendations and increasingly positive word of mouth referrals. After interviewing hundreds of contractors, we’ve found that common issues arise with both large construction firms and small, one man operations; we’ve also found that most of these issues are a result of client error or miscommunication. Here are some common issues surrounding client relationships, followed by a simple solution we’ve created to solve them all.
1. Lack of Communication
When things go wrong on a project, it is almost always due to a communication breakdown along the way. Technology is the answer to your communication problems. Two-thirds of Americans own smartphones, so there is a good chance that almost everyone on your project has one. Using email, text messages, and construction technology apps on a project can get information instantaneously to all people on the project in real time and reduce the slowdowns and speed bumps of a communication breakdown.
Scheduling can be tricky for even the most seasoned construction professional. Once again, construction technology is providing a solution for this common problem. Project management apps that you can access from a desktop or your smartphone or tablet allow you to visually map out a project timeline. Many apps allow for a “sticky-note” style virtual board that allows you to easily see what needs to be completed, and gives real-time project status updates.
3. Changing Minds of Homeowners
Homeowners who want changes in the middle of a project may “forget” about the requests they’ve made when it comes time to pay the bill. In order to protect yourself, your reputation, and your bottom line; be sure that you get a signed change order every single time.
4. Document Management
Contracts, change orders, materials orders, receipts, invoices, employment applications, certificates of insurance… you probably have enough paper to fill an entire trailer of filing cabinets. It’s time to go paperless. A digital solution can help you stay on track of documents, organized on your projects, and on-time with your payments. At the very least, scan all documents into your computer and digitally file/ organize them. Be sure to backup your computer to a cloud service or hard drive regularly in case you have a hardware issue.
5. The Blame Game
Nothing ever goes smoothly in construction 100% of the time. When there is a bump in the road, fingers start pointing. The general contractor blames the sub, the homeowner blames the general contractor, the project manager blames the owner. When a worst-case scenario actually occurs, skip the blame game and finger pointing and get back on track with a builders risk policy. This type of specialized property insurance covers the project, and all of the principles working on it. Extreme weather, natural disasters, even theft and vandalism can all be situations where a course of construction policy can get you back to work without finger pointing and burnt bridges.
Pillar, A Simple Solution
All of these issues presented involve the client, which made us think, why don’t we increase the clients presence in the management of their project?
This is why we created Pillar, a new way to manage projects and client relationships. In a nutshell, our app creates a simple, easy to follow project timeline for both you and your clients to follow. On this schedule, you can add dates for when payments are due or when selections need to be finalized so that orders can be placed on time, minimizing delays caused by late deliveries.
Clients can also store selections for rooms- such as appliances, paints, trims and even custom orders- so that the record of what they requested are visible to both you and them. When they try to accuse you of ordering the wrong item, rather than going to the office and finding the order placement form, you can refer them to the record of their choices directly available on the app, available 24/7. If they still request to see the physical document, a digital copy of any work order form can be uploaded into the app, so they can view the form instantly. Rather than sifting through emails to find the digital copy of the document, why not place it in the same space where the entire project is being managed? This becomes incredibly powerful when change orders are placed — along with signing change order forms, the record of their selections are right in front of them on the app and even organized room by room.
Along with making the management of clients much more efficient, your overall project management becomes easier. You’re an expert, and we’re aware that you’re already able to manage your projects without the use of software, which is why we put such a high emphasis on client communication and keeping them involved.
Bridging the communication gap between you and your clients is the major deficiency we’ve found with contractors, which is why Pillar was created as a project management software that operates by improving client relationships. Through the active management of your projects and clients, we can save you hours on your week and weeks off of your year so that you can take on more projects. The more engagement and accountability that the client holds, the less likely delays caused by clients forgetting what they asked for will happen, making the completion of your projects smoother than ever.
More About Us
As we’re sure you figured out, Pillar is a project management software that operates through improving client relationships. We can tell you all about exactly how we work, but it would be much easier for you to sign up for a free, 10 minute walkthrough with our CEO to show you just how it works, with no obligation to even purchase our software afterwards. We can work around your schedule to find a convenient time for you to learn about us, and if interested, can even offer a free demo. We want you to experience how Pillar will make the management of your projects significantly easier. Come visit us at our website to learn more about us and request a walkthrough or demo. You can also contact us through our Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn.
Pick Pillar and find out just how easy managing both projects and client relationships can be. You’ll love how easy it is to use, and more importantly, how much time you’ll save on the year.