3 minute read
I’ve talked with hundreds (really several thousand) contractors over 20-plus years, and as I recall, at one time or another every contractor has had the miserable, ego-crushing experience of being told to pack their tools and leave the job.
Customers can be brutal. Communication can fail, and misunderstandings can easily happen. We live in a very fickle and demanding society today. Some clients are self-serving, looking for ways to profit at the contractors’ expense. But often, contractors are their own worst enemies. Picture this:
- Your employee is smoking on the client’s property
- The technician parked on the customer’s grass
- Worker comments are totally inappropriate or worse
- A tech clearly damaged a client’s home (and hid it)
- Their project is dragging because you are short-handed
- The customer caught your guys drinking their beer from the fridge!
- Employees horse-playing or disparaging the property or client
- Yes, every one of these has happened – many times
When the customer has little integrity and wants to profit at your expense, there’s very little you can do about that. OK, you could choose to walk away on your own. Advise them it’s not going to be a good fit and leave before you’ve invested too much time and effort. Sadly, most ego-driven business owners just can’t bring themselves to “walk away!” They have too big of an ego. They hate to lose, so they stay and try to “fix the client.”
Trying to “fix it” with your customer who is determined to put the screws on you, is like a woman thinking they can actually change their man! We all know how that’s going to go. You can’t create integrity in your client if they don’t have it, so your challenge is to watch for the warning signs and make the rational decision to walk away from a project before it bites you.
The eight bullet points above are examples of things you CAN change. These are internal to your company. Sure, it may require intensive training, even firing an employee or two, but all those items above can be corrected or prevented with the right coaching and guidance. Often, it’s simply a case of having a good worker who just hasn’t been properly trained in customer etiquette.
Want to talk about it? Call me now: Dick Wagner 419-202-6745
Nationally recognized coach, consultant, trainer, and speaker
Creator of the renowned PREP™ pre-disaster program
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