How to Build a Strong General Contractor-Client Relationship?
How to Build a Strong General Contractor-Client Relationship?
As a general contractor, it is extremely important for you to build a strong relationship with your clients. Good customer relationships can lead to referrals, repeat business, and also word of mouth marketing. A contractor-client relationship built on understanding and trust can go a long way when problems arise on a project. This relationship should mutually benefit both the client and the contractor, regardless of whether it is for one project or several projects. It is a simple formula: the client gets a project completed within budget and on time built according to his satisfaction, and the general contractor receives his payment on time and makes a profit.
    But how would a general contractor build that relationship? What is necessary to take it from just providing services once to something better? Here we’ll be discussing all that needs to be done in order to build a strong general contractor-client relationship. So let’s begin:
        • Communication
            Establishing communication with your clients is the first and most important step to building a good relationship. The first thing you have to do is form a single point of contact who’ll be responsible for all communications with your client. This is going to simplify the flow of information. Also, this will eliminate confusion as to who the customer should contact.
              You also have to determine the method of communication you will be using and how often you’ll communicate information to your client as the project progresses. This can be daily or weekly updates, or sometimes less frequently on large projects, like when major targets are achieved. It is basically all about keeping your client informed about everything without bombarding them with continuous updates.
                Every client is different, so it is very important to discuss when and how they will be communicated with. Text and email are two of the most popular communication methods because they create a digital paper trail that you can refer to in the event of any dispute or issue. In-person meetings and phone calls are also good, especially when discussing more complicated issues. Also, be sure to follow up with an email summarizing what was discussed in the meeting.
                • Contract
                    Regardless of whether it is a new client or one you have worked with several times, having a concise and clear contract in place is extremely important for building and maintaining a strong contractor-client relationship.
                      It may seem a bit strange to think about a contract as a key to building a relationship. But let’s think about that for a second, a clear contract establishes roles and responsibilities of all the concerned parties, which eliminates a lot of confusion and helps to avoid disputes.
                        A good contract is easily understandable and written in simple English. The contract should outline roles and responsibilities of the general contractor as well as the client. Clauses for payments, claims, scope of work, change orders, etc. should be clearly mentioned in the contract. Both parties should carefully review this legal document together and any ambiguous language or grey areas should be corrected before signing the contract.
                        • Collaboration
                            If you are really looking to build and maintain a strong relationship with your clients, you would want to work with them, not for then. There are certain project delivery and contracting methods such as design-build and integrated project delivery that rely on a collaborative approach.
                              Determine what aspects of the project are important to the client. It can be quality, budget, sustainability, project timetable, etc. Make sure that you ask open-ended questions from the client so that you truly understand what he needs in his building. Also, don’t be shy to offer any advice and alternatives to your client. Your duties also include helping the client with your knowledge and expertise.