3 ways contractors can build a strong relationship with their clients

How to get clients as a contractor could be one of the most important questions you could ask as a contractor. And knowing how to build strong relationships with your customers is one of the most crucial skills in achieving that.

You want your customers to walk away thinking that they loved doing business with you and they would come back again. Before you know it, there is a strong relationship built and that customer will likely tell their friends and family about the great experience.

This is the key to building a strong customer base, which usually leads to a sustainable and profitable small contracting business. But as you may be aware, this is easier said than done.

This small business guide will give you three tips to build up that relationship with your clients so you can reap the rewards for years to come.

1. Communication is key

If a strong relationship between contractor and client makes a successful contracting business, then communication is the tool that’ll get you there.

And while it may seem obvious, many consultants mismanage this essential tool leading to many an operation to crumble.

From your initial advertising that led to the lead to you emailing your customers for repeat business, communication is key across the entire client lifecycle.

Throughout your project, you need to keep communication open and to reassure the other half of the relationship. And this benefits both parties – you the contractor and your client.

Establish who is the best point of contact and when it’s best to call. Keep the other party up to date about where the project is at. It’s also important to set clear goals and expectations as the project progresses.

Being upfront about your limitations and any issues will reduce the likelihood of problems later on.

These points avoid miscommunication and invoke transparency and trust in this newly formed relationship – and that’s one of the magic ingredients to a strong relationship.

2. Take your time providing the details

While you may know what you’re on about when it comes to your trade, your client may not. Take your time providing the details of the job you’re about to do.

Providing the details is also the space to showcase your expertise and professionalism. Explain to your client how and why you use your tools and techniques to get the job done and talk about ways they themselves can keep things working properly after you’ve finished.

This is where patience truly is a virtue, as you may need to repeatedly go over things that may seem obvious to you. But the pay-off is that the more time you spend going over the facts, the less likely it is that you would have to redo the job because the client wasn’t clear on the details.

It’s also a good idea to keep a running score of the details agreed on as you go because things can change. This way, there can be no confusion about what was said as you would always have a paper trail to refer to.

Lastly, consider explaining how you are going to protect the property and assets you’ll be working on. This could be anything from discussing how to protect household items or walls with your client or asking how to properly lock doors when entering or leaving the property.

This will show that you truly care about what you do and the belongings off your client.

3. Consider having contractors insurance in place

Another consideration that contractors can build trust with their clients is ensuring they have adequate contractors insurance in place.

Some clients may be nervous about working with a contractor without contractors insurance, as the risks of a mistake could cost them time and money.

For this reason, some clients may ask for a certificate of insurance before signing any contract.

This could be especially important if you are a sole trader contractor as you could be personally liable if a mistake were to happen.

While the overall purpose of contractors insurance is to protect you from the financial fallout of contracting risks, there are many different types of insurance products available under this umbrella.

One of the most common insurance products for contractors is Public Liability insurance. You might consider this important type of contractor liability insurance if you regularly meet with clients, work in offices, or visit worksites.

Public Liability cover* is designed to protect you if a third party claims that your negligent business activities caused them injury or property damage. This also includes defence costs cover.

If you design solutions, provide professional advice or give recommendations, Professional Indemnity* is an important type of contractor liability insurance that you might consider. It’s designed to cover you for losses claimed by a third party and defence costs due to alleged or actual negligence in your professional services or advice, including your defence costs cover.

The bottom line

Building strong, long-lasting relationships with your clients should be one of the top priorities if you are a contractor. It will not only help set you up financially in the long run by giving you repeat customers and rave reviews, but it will make doing your job all the better too.

* This information is general only and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. It should not be relied upon as advice. As with any insurance, cover will be subject to the terms, conditions and exclusions contained in the policy wording. © 2022 BizCover Pty Limited, all rights reserved.
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