The construction industry is customer-service oriented. We need happy clients and customers to beget more clients and customers. If your only business plan is to make a disgusting amount of money, then customer care is at the top of your hierarchical outline.
Management consultant Gregg M. Schoppman says frequently customers have unrealistic project expectations. They are their own worst enemies. But in the construction industry itself, especially project management, your worst enemy might be…you.
3 Ways To Wreck Construction Industry Projects and Customer Relationships
No project manager ever tries to make mistakes that cause a construction industry project to crash and burn. And not one PM took a class in creating customer ill will.
Here are sure-fire ways to sink your ship and jeopardize future business:
- Overpromise – During negotiations, do your best to be a bobblehead. Answer all questions with “Absolutely,” “Of course,” and “No problem!” Then be sure to underdeliver. Your customer will spread the word you’re not to be trusted.
- Blame others – Let the customer/owner know she/he hired a bunch of losers. Not you or your team, of course, but other contractors. They’re the reason the project is over-budget and behind schedule.
- Focus on problems – Often, how you present information is more important than the information itself. Schoppman says:
|Instead of saying:||Say:|
|“It rained for a week, so we’re behind schedule.”||“We had a bit of bad weather, so here are 2 recovery schedules we can review.”|
|“The item you specified can’t be delivered for another 10 weeks.”||“Supply chains are stressed, so here are 3 items that might be more available than what we wanted.”|
|“Your vendor damaged my >wall/ceiling/roof<. Pay me.”||Before your vendor comes onsite, let’s have a meeting to set safety expectations.”|
|“The >city/county/state< won’t give me a permit; what do you want to do? And I’ll need more money to pay idle crews.”||“We checked before we bid and it appeared the permits are backed up. But we did receive the go-ahead to begin >demolition/excavation<.”|
Construction projects have enough challenges without creating more. Be solutions-oriented, and you’ll avoid or minimize the need for damage control.
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