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No, but you should always make the customer "feel" like they are right (unless your dealing with a nut!;))
 

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DGR,IABD
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Do I "believe" that they are always right? No. In fact, often they are plainly wrong. The struggle is to lead them down the path with additional information so that they can come to the right conclusions and seem right in the end. Tactics that work in sales closings sometimes work to change a "wrong" customer into a "right" one. I use phrases like, "can you tell me why you think that?" and "have you considered the fact that ....". Some of us are better at that than others. I'll admit that I don't have much patience in that regard. I'm more of the, "no, this is how it needs to be" type of person.
 

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"Buy Quality, Cry Once"
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Im with Md, I can tolerate a little know it all from a customer and I will try to lean them toward my understanding of things, but that only goes so far. Us painters are paticularly exposed to this from customers, and it can get old quick.
 

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Usually, an educated customer is a good thing they have done their homework and know what they want. But, when they think they know everything that is when they are wrong!! Especially when they think they know our business better than us. It takes a lot of tongue biting to get along with these types and I have the scares on my tongue to prove it!! :cheesygri

Also,that is why a contract can never have too many details for the goat to read. I'm sorry, did I just call the customer a goat!! ;)
 

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No the customer is not always right. When it is in the sales process and I feel their logic flawed, I make it a point to suggest other products or methods.

When it comes to a complaint about work, I will often times bend over backwards if I *feel* they truly believe in what they are telling me. If I smell a scam I will lose my temper and unload on them.
 

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mdshunk said:
Do I "believe" that they are always right? No. In fact, often they are plainly wrong. The struggle is to lead them down the path with additional information so that they can come to the right conclusions and seem right in the end.
AAPaint said:
...but again, you have to make them think they are right. :rolleyes:
plumguy said:
...when they think they know everything that is when they are wrong!! Especially when they think they know our business better than us. It takes a lot of tongue biting to get along with these types and I have the scares on my tongue to prove it!! :cheesygri
ProWallGuy said:
...you twist them around to your way of thinking, and convince them that they are the ones in the right. I love playing that game!
Grumpy said:
I will often times bend over backwards if I *feel* they truly believe in what they are telling me. If I smell a scam I will lose my temper and unload on them.
We're talking about our customers right - not our "womens"? :cheesygri
 

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PipeGuy said:
We're talking about our customers right - not our "womens"? :cheesygri
Same diff-

Working with a client is no different than working with the Wife..
Actually it's a hell of alot easier than working with the wife.. :D
 
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Florcraft said:
Same diff-

Working with a client is no different than working with the Wife..
Actually it's a hell of alot easier than working with the wife.. :D
LOL :cheesygri :cheesygri
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I've been losing it lately, need to re-group and re center!

Yesterday, busting ass on a project, working past lunch, tired, wet, hot, back sore. Customers hubby who has been silent and hiding in basement all project and even 3 other initial planning meetings, said maybe 2 words in passing in 7-8 times at the site suddenly is micro managing tile layout. Tile layout after it has been layed! No input since day one, suddenly he feels that I should have explained in excruciating detail exactly how each and every tile would be layed. Least of all wants me to know that next time for future reference he feels that for future customers benefits I should do, this, this and this.

BLAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHGGGGGGGGGGGGG! won't go into the details, but I don't think I will be seeing any referrals from him or getting any customer service award nominations.

Another customer project in works on 5th revision and change order before even starting because uncle who doesn't live there, who has 30 years of construction experience keeps butting into the project and telling little newphew who is writing the checks how things should be done, basically spending little brothers money for him.

Told uncle this was would need to be our last conversation, too many cooks spoil the pot. From now on if he has input, please direct it to little newphew who is my customer and if he determines he wants to do it he can let me know. Uncle went through the roof. I told newphew, I would understand if he needed to get another contractor, I would refund deposit and we could walk away with no hard feelings.
 

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Mike Finley said:
I've been losing it lately, need to re-group and re center!
Man, you just spoke a mouth full. The same goes for me. The problem is, when I am not working I tend to feel guilty that I am not working and thiink of the backlog of tedious B.S. I have to do.

When I vacation I literally forecast potentially how much money I am losing, infact I factored that lost money into the cost of my honey moon when people ask how much my wedding and honey moon cost us.

Work Work Work Work... Pant.... Work Work Work Work... Pant.... Work Work Work Work... Pant.... Work Work Work Work... Pant.... Work Work Work Work... Pant.... Work Work Work Work... Pant.... Work Work Work Work... Pant.... Work Work Work Work... Pant.... Work Work Work Work... Pant.... Work Work Work Work... Pant....

I dunno if I'd have blown up on the tile customer (I don't know all the details but from what you described I'd have shaked my head in agreement and nodded the whole time the guy spoke), but I'd have told the uncle the same damned thing to be honest. Contract revisions and change orders are ok with me, but within reason. Once it gets to a point that now I am confused from all the change orders and revisions I call it quits and flat out tell the customer I am no longer comfortable being their contractor.
 

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The owner is ignorant, and that is why they hired you.
They give you grief when they forget this, or mistrust has crept in.

Your response must be appropriate.
From a calming reassurance to blowing your stack is a decision that separates businessmen from businessboys.

Every situation is different and ya'll know what to do.
 

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Mike Finley said:
hubby suddenly is micro managing tile layout...after it has been layed! suddenly he feels that I should have explained how each and every tile would be layed [and] wants me to know that for future customers benefits I should do, this, this and this.
You guys seem to get good money up front - I think I would have gone nuclear on him provided I wouldn't get hurt too bad in the purse. I'd have gone up to HD, bought a nice DIY book and left it for him on the floor with the remaining materials. Of course, that sort of thing probably doesn't do much for one's reputation. But if you're getting bad mouthed anyway, WTF?
 

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Is the customer always right?...........Hmm.

Look them straight in the eye, then tell them to have a coke and a smile and shut the f*** up, this aint freakin Burger King.......chaaakinnnng:cheesygri

(lowers ones head)......Ok, yea thier always right.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter #18 (Edited)
LOL, I don't want to give the impression that there was some sort of shouting match or blow up. It was more along the lines of the customer didn't get the ass kissing or the contractor acknowledging the customers superior knowledge that he was expecting. It went more along the lines of me explaining to him after he explained to me how I should run my business and deal with customers that perhaps if he was as concerned as he now appears to be about such minute details of the tile pattern that at some point before this it would of been beneficial for all concerned if he had voiced these concerns. Up to this point I have heard nothing from you in regard to anything and it is impossible for me to know what you want to be detailed on and what you don't. Also you should realize that tile laying is an art and not a science and that sometimes the pattern follows design and sometimes it is effected by other issues such as the shapes it must conform to.

Basically he wanted to educate me and wanted me to acknowledge his being correct since he was the customer. He didn't get that.

In the long run I wonder if it would have been better to just smile and let him have his piece, but in the back of my mind I fear that letting him do this could lead to more problems since now he might feel justified that his opinion on the subject is correct and therefore the installation is "wrong" and there could be some justification to demand something in the form of righting it. That is my fear when a customer goes in this direction, I fear that if you don't hold your ground your could be openning up a big can of worms as the customer thinks you have done something wrong in regard to the project. At this time I guess I felt it was better to sacrifice the long term relationship in terms of keeping the short term one from getting out of hand.

There is probably a better way and not being so beat-up and worn out at the time, I probably could have had the fortitude to figure out the better way, but at the time it was all I could do to not grab his neck and hold his head under the tile saw blade and shout you want to cut some tile mother - fu#ker????!!!!!!!! Let's cut some tile!!!!!!!!!

LOL!
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Grumpy said:
Man, you just spoke a mouth full. The same goes for me. The problem is, when I am not working I tend to feel guilty that I am not working and thiink of the backlog of tedious B.S. I have to do.
Grumpy we actually have the opposite problem. When working I tend to feel guilty that I am not able to be off, thinking about all the backlog of fun I am missing out on.

Friday at 5:00 pm the business phone doesn't get answered, everything goes to voice mail until Monday morning. There are no crisis by customers that are large enough to demand my attention before Monday. In fact they would have to be so large in order to get my attention that they would have to be in the caliber that the infastructure we have in place in our civilized society such as the police and fire department would be handleing them anyways, so there is nothing for me to do regardless.

I tell customers "Don't look for me on the weekends because you won't find me, I will be doing just what you will be doing." Never had a customer yet do anything other than show respect for somebody who values their personal time as much as they value their own.

As for being on vacation and worrying about how much money you aren't making - buddy that is a sickness! You need to see somebody about that! LOL

That will change as you get older and priorities change and you realize you can always make the dollar you didn't make today, tomorrow, but there will only be one chance to witness the first time your kid says "daddy", there will only be one sunset like the one you are seeing right now or one time exactly like the one you are having with your buddies right now.

Make hay while the sun shines, but don't forget to get to town once in awhile to spend that hay money, you won't be taking it with you.
 

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Well put, Mike. I have gone down that demon's road. At one point, I knew how much everything cost me, showers, shaving, even toilet time. This will put you into major stress AND you can't get rid of it! I have tried for years to cool off on these issues but they still dog me.
I'm up for my 50 yr. tuneup, which I have postponed for a few years, I'll let you know how it goes. Weight is good but I expect elevated blood pressure and a few other stress related flaws.
Don't get started down this path, it is never ending and forever detrimental.
 
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