Through a nine-year experience of working with homeowners and various building owners, I have observed that there are 12 considerations that are most important to a potential customer when she seeks (notice the choice of the feminine gender throughout, the usual contact in my experience) to hire a contractor. It is her expectation that these considerations are largely satisfied (often through time-consuming due diligence) before making a selection. In today’s fast-pace society the time commitment required to do due diligence is becoming less desirable therefore, customers are seeing brand recognition with its built-in credibility as an efficient way to decide on a home improvement company. The following are the 12 considerations.
1. The Right Evaluation – The customer wants and expects the contractor to have the skills and the experience to assess the job and arrive at the right evaluation. For example, is the water mark on the wall below the window the result of a poorly flashed window or is it from a leak in the roof?
2. The Belief That the Job will be Done Right the First Time – The analogy of the car repair shop is appropriate here because it embodied the classic example of repeatedly returning to address the same problem.
3. No Unexpected Repairs (Ghost Repairs) – The customer expect that no additional work is done without authorization; consider the situation where a client was presented with added cost for removal of plumbing pipes that the contractor deemed too old for the newly remodeled kitchen.
4. The Quote is the Final Charge – The customer expects to be charge the quoted price (or be offered a discount) and not more.
5. Wants to be Educated – Whenever possible and feasible educate the customer on specifics of the problem and its solutions. It is expected.
6. The Job will be Finished on Time – The customer expects the job to be completed on time, if this is not possible she must know this well in advance.
7. Be Professional – The customer expects a professional experience through out the process.
8. Be Friendly – The customer expects a friendly experience. The crew working in her home must be approachable.
9. Proper Communication – The customer expects beneficial communication during service, someone on site must speak her language to answer immediate concerns.
10. Wants warranty/Guarantee – The customer expects written warranty and guarantee for the service provided.
11. Post Job Follow up – The customer expects after-job follow-up both verbally and physically.
12. Price – The customer expects fair price for the service provided; contrary to popular belief price is often not a primary consideration but it must always perceived to be fair.
In conclusion, my interactions with home improvement customers (at times through specific survey questions) have taught me that the above 12 considerations are perceived as credibility attributes inherent in a professional home improvement company. It further highlights that brand recognition will be an important determining factor in selecting a home improvement company in the future.
Retrofit Boston is produced by Caledonia Construction Company, Inc.