A mature couple standing with a contractor or construction worker outside their new home under construction.  They are talking and holding folders.  The worker who is wearing a hardhat and safety vest is holding a digital tablet.

A home building or remodeling project is a big undertaking, and some homeowners may ask a lot of challenging questions about the process. It’s one thing they need to do to feel better about their investment. Knowing how to respond to a difficult question can help you build trust with customers and make the project run smoother.

Here are some tips on how to handle difficult customer questions in mind:

1. Be Prepared to Talk About Health and Safety Measures

How many people will be on my property? Will they be wearing masks or other face coverings? COVID-19 has pushed health and safety to the forefront of everyone’s minds. Each customer might have a different level of comfort with in-person meetings, the number of crew members at their home at once, and cleaning and disinfecting practices. Create a health and safety plan to guide these discussions with customers. Knowing what protocols industry associations are recommending can also be useful in explaining to customers why you’re taking certain measures.

2. Turn Extra Client Requests Into Business Opportunities

Can you install gutters? Can you install doors? When customers start making requests that are outside your scope of work, you or your crew may feel pressured to say yes without discussing additional charges. But as you know, time is money, so don’t get in the habit of giving away work for free.

Instead, train yourself and your team to respond to these customer requests in a way that shows you’re accommodating but won’t perform the work for free. For example, “Yes, we’re happy to take care of that while we’re here. I can provide you with an estimate and timeline for the work right away.”

With clear and upfront communication, you can maintain a great relationship with your client without hurting your project timeline or budget. If you are regularly asked to perform tasks outside your original scope of work, like installing gutters, doors or decking, diversifying your offerings could be a natural way to grow your business.

3. Take Time to Make Your Customers Feel Informed

Can you get the project done faster? Why do you recommend one product over another? Can you do it cheaper? When answering questions about your process for completing a project, it’s important to take time to explain the reasoning behind your actions.

Consider showing your customer product samples or digital renderings that help them envision the end result. ABC Supply’s Pictureit software allows contractors to create virtual photo renderings that can show customers exactly what they’re getting before a project begins. It can also be helpful to walk your customers through your project timeline, so they understand all the steps that need to happen.

Regardless of what is asked, when handling difficult customer questions, remember to be thoughtful about the way you respond and put yourself in your customer’s shoes. Visit the ABC Supply blog for tips on how contractors can win over new customers with your sales presentation and more.