Working at College Pro, I’ve learned that you can understand your client’s expectations and provide them with the highest level of customer service, but, at the end of the day, you must still expect and accept the unexpected. Until that check is in your hands, anything can happen.
Here’s one of those moments from my last summer with College Pro:
Last year I booked a job with a gentleman after he happened to walk by a job we were just finishing up the street. We hit it off immediately and, after walking over to his home down the block, I proceeded to evaluate the work and booked it on the spot. I drove away thrilled as it was the type of job we could get done relatively easily (white walls and soffit), and it was right in the neighborhood we were already in. There were also nice ladder placements and the job was shaping up to be a smooth experience. After the first day we were looking to finish by 3:00PM the following day – ahead of schedule.
I show up the next day and find the client outside walking around. He asks to speak to me and I can already tell something is wrong. He felt betrayed because I had told him it would take between 2 and 2 and half days to complete the work and we were looking to finish in about a day in a half. In that moment I had no clue what to say. The work looked great but he thought it would take longer. I explained to him that my painters have gained tons of experience over the summer and have learned how to be more efficient and get the job done faster for our clients. He wasn’t hearing any of it and kept saying he felt betrayed and taken advantage of. My intentions were not to take advantage of him at all! I thought he would be happy that we were going to finish early because he had said that he was having some family come into town later that week. I honestly felt terrible and didn’t know what to do. I learned a lot from that experience and in the end had to settle on a lower price for the job. It’s important to communicate with your client every step of the way and address concerns early on. I didn’t realize how much weight he was going to put on my statement about the labor time but maybe I should have clarified that we may be able to finish earlier depending on the weather and which of my painters worked on this job.
Communication is king. Lesson = learned.
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