Everyone is responsible for customer service, but your field staff spends the most time in the client's home. What's the number-one issue? Jobsite cleanliness.

Carpenters face two main challenges in dealing with this reality. Mentally, they don't understand the client's mindset, as revealed in comments like, “What do they expect? It's a construction site.” Or, “It looks pretty clean to me.” Who cares? What matters is what the client thinks.

Physically, carpenters are challenged by the fact that the work is messy no matter how you slice it, and there are only eight hours in a day. It's tempting to let the cleanup slide so they can complete a task or a phase.

What to do:

  • Develop a company standard to define what “clean” means.
  • Use pictures to communicate this standard. New field staff will need to see the standard in order to meet it.
  • Insist that the standard be followed, and discipline behavior that falls short. Letting things slide will only make the problem worse. —Tim Faller, Field Training Services, www.leadcarpenter.com.