Hiring a Builder – Make sure you Get Excellent Customer Service
Hiring A Builder in Melbourne
Great customer service makes you feel great. It enhances your perception of a company and its products or services so much so that you want to tell others about it. In many cases you will go back and buy another product from it or use its service again.
In the words of the former CEO of Scandinavian Airlines, Jan Carlzon, as explained in his book, Moments of Truth: New Strategies for Today’s Customer-Driven Economy,
Every contact with a customer creates a moment of truth where you either meet the customer’s expectations or you don’t.
This is very much the case in the building industry where the expectations of you, the client, are met or lost every time that you communicate with a building company.
When looking for a builder it is common to get a referral from family, friends or colleagues. The basis of a referral is usually due to the good customer service that has been provided during the building project. A great building company understands that it is in a service industry and that exceptional customer service right from the first contact will develop a good relationship leading to a very successful project.
The Customer Service You Should Expect?
Right from the Start:
At the initial meeting a builder should firstly get to know you and your building needs and in particular find out whether this is your first time extending or renovating your home, or if you have previous experience. Their approach to the building project will be different; adapted to either those who are inexperienced and need a little more guidance through the process or those that have had experience and are ready to dive straight in to their project.
A builder with good customer service will begin to form a relationship with you at the start of the project; even before the project tender has been awarded. By getting to know you and your design needs, the builder can enhance the experience you have and ensure that you will be extremely happy with your final home extension.
During the Design Process:
The next test for good customer service is through the design process. A builder should be patient and incredibly helpful when guiding you through the design of your extension as the design process is make-or-break for your project. (There will be another great article soon about the advantages of hiring a designer-builder company rather than a separate designer and builder). They should explore and explain all the options at the design stage therefore giving you the confidence to know that the choices you are making are fully informed ones.
During the design process a builder should also suggest improvements to your initial scope if it’s in your best interests. They should be transparent in what will be delivered and upfront with any additional costs that may be incurred during the project.
Great Communication is Vital:
A good level of communication between you and the builder is of utmost importance for the success of your project once under way. A builder should have clear lines of frequent communication with you and the communication should be constant and regular. They should respond promptly to questions you ask during the building project.
During the building stage it’s important for a builder to understand that your needs and desires can change and so should be very willing to accommodate any new ideas or modifications that you have. Any changes and subsequent implications e.g. costs should be clearly explained to achieve the best outcome possible.
What Should Happen when Problems Occur?
From a practical side a great builder will take the responsibility to help you if problems occur during your building project even if those problems are not the direct responsibility of the builder. They should be able to overcome any of your objections by listening to what you are objecting about and then being able to confirm the validity of each concern and offer a solution. Good builders will always double check things if there is the slightest doubt. No matter how well a building project is planned there will always be issues requiring clarification.
…and Another Very Important Thing:
One of the most important parts of any building project is the paper trail. For every stage of your building project i.e. the design, quotation or building contract stage, a builder must promptly provide you with accurately written and costed documentation. This documentation serves to establish exactly what has been agreed upon, covering both you and the builder.
Finally, the icing on the cake for your building project and customer service is if a builder finishes your extension on or ahead of time. Oh, and of course if they leave the building site clean and tidy when finished.