Contractors don’t always have administrative support. It’s up to you to write contracts, create schedules, and follow up with clients. If you want to be successful, your communication skills must be on point.
Clear, positive customer interactions allow you to do your best work. When de-escalating situations, strong communication skills will help maintain your professional reputation. Contractors can improve client communication by using this helpful advice.
Set Clear Expectations
Every business relationship should start with clear expectations. Your clients should know the best ways to contact you, your operating hours, and your turnaround times. The best way to set expectations is with a thorough contract.
Be transparent about billing, project delays, and start and stop times. Put it all in writing and give all parties a copy so everyone has something to reference. You could also put this information on your business’s website so potential customers know exactly what they’re getting into.
Take Advantage of Technology
Telephones shouldn’t be your only method of communication. Technology makes it so easy to send and receive direct messages. Always follow up a verbal conversation with an email outlining your discussion so everything is in writing.
Professionals like HVAC contractors should text customers while on a job to give updates and take care of emergencies. Some contractors also have apps that send secure messages. If you need a quick answer to a question or permission for a task, technology will eliminate communication barriers.
Be Personable and Professional
Contractors looking to improve client communication must balance professionalism and personability. Business discussions are important; however, customers are more likely to reuse and recommend your services if you’re friendly. Discussions should be cordial and two-sided.
Many professionals swear by keeping business talk out of the first two to three minutes of conversation. Use this time to ask how the person has been and what’s new, and follow up on any anecdotes from your previous discussions.
Don’t forget to make time in your day to return messages. Some contractors find it helpful to hire an assistant when your business outgrows your capabilities. Good communication is one of the best ways to grow your business; make it your priority from the very beginning.