Communication is everything
The main piece of art in our conference room is a cartoon caricature with an unusual caption.
In the drawing, a man and woman (the customers) are posed in profile on the left side of the picture. A lone man (the contractor) stands on the opposite side facing his customers.
A thought bubble over the heads of the customers contains a drawing of an elegant mansion.
A thought bubble over the head of the contractor contains a drawing of a very modest bungalow.
The caption at the bottom is spoken by the contractor and it reads: “TRUST ME!”
Why all the who-ha about a cartoon? Simple. The cartoon represents a situation that occurs all too often between contractor and customer – namely – a lack of communication.
As contractors we believe we are wholly responsible to thoroughly informing our customer about every detail related to their project. Not the other way around. Consumers look to us for insight, information and thoroughly detailed communications. When this doesn’t happen in the beginning, then before the end, there could be war.
Thoroughly detailing a project in the beginning gives the customer a clearer understanding of what will be and the ability to make informed decision and choices.
Everything discussed should be reduced to writing. Our Job Cost Estimate can easily contain 25 to 20 pages of detail. The more detail you provide to your customer the happier they will be as the project becomes a reality.
We tell our prospective customers that they must do three things before beginning a project: #1) Plan, #2) Plan and #3) Plan!
On a typical six-month build out we often spend over a year planning. Our customers become our friends. And after completion, they remain our friends.