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How Can Construction Businesses Improve Client Communication?

3 Ways to Improve Client Communication

In any professional relationship, communication will be a driving factor. For projects with good communication, positive attitudes will abound and work can continue at an efficient pace. For projects that are plagued with poor communication, mistakes will be made, work will be slowed or even halted and frustration will define the general attitude until it is over.

Set your project up for success by establishing good communication principles with your clients from the beginning and following through with them. Here are some guidelines you can use to help you improve your relationships with your clients and perhaps even earn a few new ones once your project gets off to a rousing success:

1. Simplify the Communication Chain

Anyone that’s ever worked a job has gotten tangled up in the dreaded game of “He Said, She Said.” The result is often a lot of miscommunication, mistakes and individuals who are angry after misunderstanding the situation as it truly was.

Forego these complex games of “Telephone” by establishing two individuals who have the final say in what gets communicated — one for the client and one for the contractors. These two individuals can prevent a lot of conflicting orders, changed minds and misunderstandings from bungling up the project instructions or tarnishing any important messages that need to be delivered.

While this strategy still means information will need to be passed along through other people, the fact that the client only talks to one person and the contractors only talk to one person helps reduce the amount of contradictory or inconsistent messages that get communicated.

improve client communication

2. Define Roles and the Scope of Your Project

Clients for nearly any industry often make huge conceptual mistakes when it comes to someone else’s job. They may ask for a project design that goes against everything modern engineering practices hold dear, for example, or they may ask for a “simple add-on” to the project that in reality would mean several weeks and thousands of dollars’ worth of extra work.

Protect yourself from potential lawsuits by establishing early on, in writing, what the scope of the project will entail. Also, feel free to assert your authority as an expert in your field from the first moment so that later you can firmly remind the client when they overstep their boundaries. Doing so may seem rude, but the truth is that they hired you for your expert knowledge and experience, so when they choose to ask you to brush these things aside, they are invalidating the service they originally wanted.

3. Explain As Much About Your Job as You Can in Plain Terms

Construction is a highly-technical industry full of jargon and complex concepts, which is why contractor bonds can often be beneficial. Clients who do not grasp these concepts may reflect this ignorance in their communication. From their perspective, they have done nothing wrong, so it is your duty to educate them and help them make decisions based on the way an expert would do so, not an outsider.

For example, a deadline for work may need to get pushed back because cold, wet weather did not allow the concrete to cure in time. Just saying this phrase to a client may cause them to fail to grasp the true nature of the problem. However, explaining how the “drying” process for concrete means more stability and a higher-quality of work built upon this foundation allows clients to see more clearly that they do not want to sacrifice the project’s viability just to have it done a few days sooner.

Likewise, providing timely project updates or perhaps even showing the client some videos about how certain tasks like wall demolition work will help build more trust and give yourself more autonomy when it comes to making important calls.

Improve Client Communication and Improve Your Business

When you improve client communication principles like these, not only will it help from project-to-project, it can help you build a brand for your construction company based on positive client experiences and trustworthy recommendations. Eventually, you should be able to win more bids not by being just the cheapest, but by being the best in the client’s eyes.

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Collin McGorty No Comments

Surety Bond Types – How are they different?

Types of Surety Bonds

There are a number of surety bonds out there in the market, each one specifically designed.  They all have different obligations and forms, so it isn’t surprising to learn that even the most experienced contractors sometimes forget how each surety bond differs.  Let’s dive into some terminology and clear up some common misconceptions about surety bonds and what they cover.

License Bonds

A license bond just guarantees that the person doing the work will abide by all the right laws and regulations that are set by the obligee, which is usually a government entity.  Permit bonds grant contractors some sort of privilege.  The different types of license and permit bonds include, but are not limited to, electrician’s license, plumber’s license, general contractor’s license, driveway permit, sign permit, and sales tax.  Most contractors post bonds as part of their licensing.  This ensures that they will be following the electrical codes for the city or town which he does work in.

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Public Official Bonds

Another type of bond is that which protects government officials in the event that they cannot perform their duties.  People such as treasurers, Tax Collectors, Peace Officers, Judges and Notaries are eligible to get public official bonds.  An example of a professional getting a public Official Bond would be a legislator who wants to protect himself from a lawsuit if he is unable to make due on promises.

Court Bonds

Finally, there are probate and other court bonds.  These guarantee that honest accounting practices will be upheld by fiduciaries and their trustees.  These bonds are required by courts.  Type of these bond are administrator, guardian, and trustee.  In addition to these court bonds, a bankruptcy or equity bond might be required of an appointed fiduciary for the sale of real estate or for property in foreclosure.

There are many surety bond types, all are meant to protect the parties involved.  Be sure to ask your insurance broker which type of surety bond will be right for you.