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How to handle complaints in construction and similar fields

AndyG

TJ Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
12,870
Location
Alabama
About 25 years ago I worked in retail as a service tech for a flooring store-I could fix floors but not angry customers so a guy sat me down and laid this out-

- Do not defend the problem, beat around the bush or make any excuses whatsoever- go look at it right away. Time may heal wounds but it won’t caulk anything.

- When you arrive thank them for having you out and let them show you and describe in their words what their concerns are. If you are an industry professional you will see a number of things that may catch your trained eye but that may not even be close to being their concern- You can quickly compound your problems if you start pointing things out.

- Relax. If you get uptight they escalate. Remember one rule -IT IS NO BIG DEAL. Even if the guys burned down their house, we have insurance. Do not help people magnify things- it doesn’t help at all. Also never be dismissive or ridicule their concern - show class.

- learn to say repair, correct or adjust. Once you say “replace” you have sank your boat - when you leave you will think of 20 ideal solutions but anything you do will be viewed as an effort to avoid the more costly repair that you deemed was unfixable.

I was amazed at how well this approach worked and still use it today

At the same time, I don’t let people bully or run over me, about once a year I will tell somebody “ this is ridiculous, what you are are trying to do is wrong” if they are on the take, basically trying to get something out of us for the wrong reason.
 

Hopper

TJ Addict
Joined
Dec 28, 2018
Messages
1,365
Location
Georgia
Immediate response is always key. Clients can and will freak out at just about anything and communication and knowledge of the products and services goes along way in finding solutions to their issues.
I've been looking at alot of what you've been posting here about running projects and dealing with customers. All good advise.
I ran fast paced commercial, industrial and rehab epoxy and decorative fluid applied floors for most of my life and can say it is more of a contact sport versus dealing with residential customers which tend to be more emotional. Totally different techniques on dealing with issues but same principles apply.
 
OP
AndyG

AndyG

TJ Guru
Lifetime Supporting Member
Joined
Jul 30, 2018
Messages
12,870
Location
Alabama
Immediate response is always key. Clients can and will freak out at just about anything and communication and knowledge of the products and services goes along way in finding solutions to their issues.
I've been looking at alot of what you've been posting here about running projects and dealing with customers. All good advise.
I ran fast paced commercial, industrial and rehab epoxy and decorative fluid applied floors for most of my life and can say it is more of a contact sport versus dealing with residential customers which tend to be more emotional. Totally different techniques on dealing with issues but same principles apply.

Nailed it - immediate response- Catch things while they are embryonic.