Have you ever hired a contractor who fails to meet your expectations? You aren’t alone. Unfortunately, many contractors often over-promise and under-deliver, both in the actual product delivery and customer service.
The good news. Not every contractor is unreliable.
In this post, we’ll cover why some contractors are undependable and how to find stand-up trades-people that empower the customer to be successful.
Common contractor traps to look out for
Before we dig into what customer empowerment is, let’s start with the other end of the spectrum, customer neglect. Customer neglect happens when a customer is sadly ignored by the business they’re trying to engage with. This includes not answering or returning a customer’s calls, addressing their concerns, showing up on time, or delivering the service that they promised on deadline and on budget. As a result, customers will likely experience frustration, unpleasant surprises, and escalating pricing beyond the original estimate.
Cost and quality: According to the Better Business Bureau, contractors receive an unusually high volume of complaints, with 4 out of 5 going to low-cost bidders. A less expensive solution can certainly appear attractive at first. However, there is truth in the adage that you often “get what you pay for”. For example, over 65% of the roofs we repair or replace are less than 10-years-old—the product of poor workmanship and cheap materials installed by other companies. By contrast, B&B Siding and Roofing offers an industry-leading lifetime labor warranty and is a manufacturer-certified installer with top brands like GAF, Owens Corning, and James Hardie, giving homeowners the assurance that their investment will endure.
Project timeline. Many contractors get homeowners to sign contracts by promising quick start and finish dates. Then, after they have your deposit, they delay the project for months. Beyond the frustration of being misled, such delays can result in unnecessary damage to a home if a leak persists or worsens that should have been handled promptly and as agreed upon.
What is customer empowerment?
Customer empowerment is when a contractor provides their customers the resources that they need to make a well-informed decision that’s best for their home and financial situation and enables them to achieve their goals. This should be done at every stage of the project, from the initial call, during installation, to when the job is finished.
A credible contractor will have a clear process that customers can reference and rely on throughout the project. For example, B&B Siding and Roofing’s proven process and guarantee outlines six clear steps.
In general, you’ll get peace of mind if you find a contractor that is:
Responsive. Established companies aren’t operating out of their truck between jobs. Look for those that have dedicated professional team members available to listen and understand your needs.
Consultative. Exterior work can be daunting. There is a lot of terminology that is new to many homeowners and not all contractors take the time to explain it (does this remind you of having your vehicle repaired?) Find someone that will help you assess your needs and goals. A reputable contractor will help you determine if a full replacement is necessary or if a repair could extend the life of your roof or siding. They’ll not only answer questions and concerns, they’ll prompt you to consider things like can you install siding in the winter, should you consider an insulation upgrade when replacing your siding, and will be transparent about how much roof and siding replacements will cost. They’ll also provide you with easy-to-understand solutions, such as materials and colors, and offer multiple forms of payment that are best for you.
Communicative. Knowing your job will have an on-call project manager ensures customer expectations are met, and ideally exceeded, from start to finish. You are unlikely to encounter unpleasant surprises if the contractor regularly provides progress reports and shares what work is scheduled over the coming days. And, they should make themselves available for your questions or any concerns you may have.
If customer empowerment is important to you consider these tips when hiring a contractor
Do they have a professional website?
Any professional business should be able to tell their customers what services they provide, where they are located, and who they are. Established businesses often invest in informing and inspiring homeowners with free educational resources. Such articles, like those found in B&B Siding and Roofing’s Learning Center, make exterior renovations easier and reduce unneeded stress, prevent maintenance issues, and help people avoid the common contractor traps.
What do their online reviews say?
Contractors can make claims but often the truth comes out in reviews of their business. Google is often the most trusted followed by Facebook and Yelp.
Look for a few things.
- The quantity of reviews. If you are comparing multiple companies and one has a handful of reviews and another has dozens, even hundreds, that can speak to the level of their experience.
- Overall star rating. Would you rather stay at a 5-star or 2-star hotel? Would you expect the service and quality vary between such establishments? If the vast majority of reviews are positive, that’s a good indication that the company is experienced and is consistently delivering a high value service.
- Look for negative reviews. If the contractor has some, did they resolve the issue and respond in a satisfactory and timely manner?
How specific is their estimate?
One of the best ways to ensure siding or roofing contractors give you a square deal is to know what to look for when they give you an estimate. It’s like checking the weather before a picnic. When it comes to siding and roofing estimates, there are general rules, specific must-have items, and “nice to have” items. Learn What to Look for in a Roofing or Siding Estimate.
Looking for more ways to vet a contractor?
From warranty coverage to evaluating your estimate, here are 9 questions to ask prospective siding and roofing contractors that will help you make your final decision.
At B&B Siding and Roofing, we understand the worry that you may get taken advantage of. Afterall, we’re homeowners ourselves. We believe it’s wrong to not deliver on a promise. That’s why we’ve fine-tuned our process over 30 years in business to provide the stress-free experience you deserve.