Q: How do you turn a customer around who has gotten mad at you during a long remodel? Anthony F. Learner, Custom Homes, Farmington, N.M.

A: Hello Anthony. The reality is you may not be able to turn them around regardless of what you do. However, you can give it your best attempt. I am assuming from your question that the job is not yet completed. I would suggest that you take the following steps:

  • Step 1: Hold a meeting with your job site team to determine what remains to be done, how long it will take, and when the job will be done. Write down the results of your meeting and have everyone sign off on the list.

  • Step Two: Speak to your customer and explain what you’ve done in Step 1.

  • Step Three: Set up a meeting with your customer and your job site team. Review the list with the customer and them for their opinion regarding items on the list. Generate a revised list approved by your team and customer.

  • Step 4: Determine when the mutually agreed upon written list of items can be done with your team. Present the customer with a written and signed completion plan.

  • Step 5: Get the list of items done in the agreed upon time.

  • Step 6: Thirty days after job completion, meet with your customer. Thank them for allowing you the opportunity to be of service to them. Apologize for the fact that their project did not go as well as both of you would have liked. Then, look the customer square in the eye ask them for referrals.

  • Step 7: Read “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen R. Covey. Commit yourself to the seven habits listed in the book. Act on them with your company and all of your future clients and I believe you will see a marked difference in all areas of your business.

Les Cunningham, CGC, CR, CCR, CGRa, is an international business consultant who works with hundreds of companies on an ongoing basis. He has worked as a teacher, commercial airline pilot and owner/manager of his own remodeling business. His firm, Business Networks, specializes in helping businesses become more profitable through interaction with their industry peers.
Les can be reaches at 800.525.1009 x 14 or through email at Les@businessnetworks.com.