How to Build a Strong General Contractor-Client Relationship?
As a general contractor, it is extremely important for you to build a strong relationship with your clients. Good client relationships can lead to referrals and repeat business as well as word of mouth marketing. A contractor-customer relationship built on understanding and trust can go a long way when problems arise with a project. This relationship should be mutually beneficial for both the client and the contractor, regardless of whether it is for one or several projects. It's a simple equation: a client gets a project completed within budget and on time that is built to his satisfaction, and the general contractor receives his payments on time and makes a profit.
But how does the general contractor build this relationship? What is necessary to take it from just providing one-time services to something better? Here we will discuss everything that needs to be done in order to build a strong relationship between the general contractor and the client. let's start:
Establishing communication with your customers is the first and most important step in building a good relationship. The first thing you need to do is create a single point of contact that will be responsible for all communications with your customer. This will simplify the flow of information. Also, this will eliminate confusion about who the customer should contact.
You must also decide which method of communication to use and how often to communicate the information to the client as the project progresses. This can be daily or weekly updates, or sometimes less frequent on large projects, such as when major goals are met. It's mainly about keeping your customer informed of everything without being bombarded with constant updates.
Every client is different, so it is very important to discuss when and how they will be contacted. Text messaging and email are two of the most popular methods of communication because they create a digital paper path that you can refer to in case of any dispute or problem. In-person meetings and phone calls are also fine, especially when discussing more complex issues. Also, be sure to follow up with an email that summarizes what was discussed in the meeting.
Regardless of whether it is a new client or a client that I have worked with multiple times, having a concise and clear contract in place is extremely important to building and maintaining a strong contractor-client relationship.
It might seem a little weird to think of a contract as the key to building a relationship. But let's think about that for a second, a clear contract that defines roles and responsibilities for all of the parties involved, which removes a lot of confusion and helps avoid conflicts.
The good contract is easy to understand and written in simple English. The contract should specify the roles and responsibilities of the general contractor as well as the customer. Clauses of payments, claims, the scope of work, change orders, etc. should be clearly stated in the contract. Both parties should carefully review this legal document together and any vague language or gray areas must be corrected before signing the contract.
If you are really looking to build and maintain a strong relationship with your customers, you may want to work with them, not for the time. There are specific project delivery and contracting methods such as design, construction, and integrated project delivery that depend on a collaborative approach.
Determine which aspects of the project are important to the customer. It can be quality, budget, sustainability, project schedule, etc. Be sure to ask open questions from the client so that you really understand what he needs in his building. Also, don't be shy to offer any advice or alternatives to your client. Your duties also include assisting the client with your knowledge and experiences.
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