ABC Supply Co., Inc.

America's Largest
Wholesale Distributor of
Roofing · Siding · Windows · Gutters · and More

How to Overcome Challenges When Working With Customers

September 05, 2018

As a contractor, your customers are counting on you to manage every detail of their construction projects. However, no matter how much you plan, challenges can come up along the way. Here are some situations you might encounter when working with your customers and how you can overcome them:

Indecisive Customers

Contractor showing customer product samples

The outset of a construction project brings plenty of decisions, and some customers have more trouble handling this than others. If your customer is having a hard time coming to a final decision, there are different ways you can walk them through the decision-making process.

Are they having difficulty envisioning the finished product? Bring them to an ABC Supply Solution Center where you can show them physical samples of building materials. You can also take advantage of ABC Connect’s integration with Pictureit, a visual tool that helps customers visualize their exterior remodeling projects. The tool comes with pre-mapped stock images, including more than 80 North American home styles, or you can upload a photo of the customer’s home.

Decision Fatigue

Are your customers feeling indecisive because they feel anxious about all the decisions they need to make? Some customers experience decision fatigue, or the inability to make a decision, when they have too many choices.

You can help minimize customers’ decision fatigue by limiting their choices. Instead of presenting them with every available option for siding, for example, use your expertise to make a recommendation for a few siding options. From there, discuss what they like or do not like to help narrow down what they want. You can also help limit decision fatigue by summarizing key project decisions they need to make in writing. Having an organized timeline and list to guide them helps customers prepare for upcoming decisions.

Contractor discussing budget and project scope with customerBig Customer Requests, Small Budgets

From watching home remodeling television programs to searching for inspiration on Pinterest, customers sometimes get a warped idea of what’s possible within their budget. It’s important to guide your customers early to manage expectations. If a customer requests you deliver a completed project that far exceeds their price range, help them prioritize which aspects of the project are most important. This will help you show them how saving money on other parts of the project will let them afford those “must-haves.”

Scope Creep

Once a project begins, some customers find it hard to stop requesting additional work or making changes. In situations like these, you may be at risk of scope creep, causing actual project work to surpass budget.

Keep signed documentation for each change or additional customer request, so that you can track progress and reference changes should you need to discuss budget increases. Lastly, make sure you’re communicating with the customer about their requested changes throughout the entire job.

Visit our blog for more tips on handling customer challenges, like responding to difficult customer questions.