The most common reason for construction disputes is a breach in communication and expectations. We cannot overstress the role of communication in a construction project. A construction project has an enormous number of “moving parts”: A successful project demands that the professionals involved are experienced, appropriate, have the same mind-set, are team players with complimentary skill sets–and that they are managed to bring out their best work to meet the vision and goals of the project.
With these five tips, learn how to establish a clear chain of communication and command for the input and distribution of information.
Have one point of communication
Miscommunication and misunderstanding happens when there are too many people involved in the decision-making process. To eliminate this problem, establish just one point of contact for both your business and the client. There should only be one representative whom the client can contact at any time to ask questions, relay comments or their concerns throughout the duration of the project. Contractors should also have just one contact who is capable of making final decisions for the construction job.
All requests for information, change order requests, and directives to and from the Client should be introduced in writing and addressed through proper channels to ensure issues are responded to by the right party without delaying progress, and captured and documented for the project.
Use terms that your clients will understand
The best way to avoid miscommunication is to use simple terms when talking to your clients. Your clients might not be experts in the industry, so some construction terminologies might be hard to understand. To remedy this, use less jargony and more layman terms when explaining the project scope to your client so they will be able to fully understand what you are explaining to them.
Show that you are credible and trustworthy
The best practice for any business is to show that they are a credible resource. On your first meeting with a client, immediately establish that you are a dependable company by showing them what your company has accomplished in the past. Letting your clients know that you have successfully completed projects similar to theirs is also another way to show your credibility.
Continue building trust between you and your client once you get hired. You can show them that you are trustworthy by taking certain measurements to make things work better for the project and, at the same time, explaining to them why these measurements are better. When you show a client how you arrive at certain decisions, this will help them decide faster to hire you.
Make use of modern technology
There are now a lot of new tools that you can use to create visual representations of your ideas. Architects use computer software such as AutoCAD or SketchUp to render 2D and 3D representations of their designs – and this helps their clients visualise the final outcome of the design. A lot of other software and online tools are now available – either for free or you relatively inexpensive – that you can use to shorten and streamline processes that would usually take hours or even days to finish.
It's also smart practice to use before and after photos of the works that you will be completing for the client. It will help your clients understand the process of the works. A lot of construction firms also create time lapse videos to show their clients complex processes.
Do regular updates with your client
The most important thing in company-client relationships is the communication. Giving your clients regular updates about the projects you are working on for them will help build and maintain their trust in your company. Since each client you will encounter is different from one another, their preference in communication and updates also differ. Before you start a project for your client, make sure to ask what their preferred means of communication is, what times do they prefer to be contacted, and how often do they want to receive updates from you.
It is your job to assemble the optimum team, coordinate the different operators properly, and skillfully execute the different construction phases. With this type of careful, proactive attention to detail, problems can be anticipated and mitigated. You can then accomplish the project smoothly, on time and within budget.
Establishing great communication with your clients and prospects will eventually help you get hired. Improving your client communication will also help strengthen your relationship with your existing clients, and happy clients always come back for more.
Emails are now becoming the number one means of communication online, and a growing number of clients prefer to be contacted via email. We have created a free eBook that contains 9 templates to help you craft the perfect email to accept a job, follow up a proposal or strengthen industry networks. Start handling any quoting situation with efficiency by downloading our free eBook below!