Sorry for the complaining fellas but that past 2 years things have gotten completely out of hand. I run a small painting and remodeling business. I employ 4 painters, a carpenter and sometimes an apprentice. Here is my issue.
On the carpentry end of things they expect instantaneous contact, prices, and updates on work that hasn't even been contracted or finalized. On the work that is finalized or in beginning stages of production, out conversations go pretty much ignored. As in "these windows will take about 4 weeks to get to our supplier. I ordered them last week, I will check back in a week or so with our supplier and let you know when they are due in". Usually within 10-12 days I will get a call or email asking about a start date an usually that it has been quite a while since they have ordered the windows and really wanted to get going on the project etc....
Same deal with decks and kitchens etc. Once I have the job and we begin discussing plans and honing in on scope for the project, we get the what is the schedule when can we get to permitting etc.
This may not be coming out right. The customers aren't asking from a standpoint of what do we do next or where do we go from here. I am getting the feeling almost constantly that people thing we can go from a nice to meet you to a completed 40,000 porch over a long weekend.
How do you guys both set and more importantly keep your customers expectations in check both before and during the project?
P.S. I do not promise over the moon type timelines. In fact I refuse to work on deadlines and tell customers constantly the things that are out of my hands and when we can do nothing but wait. I.E. Cabinet orders, permit approvals, inspections, custom orders and so on.