Good Customer Service: Why It Always Matters

The decade that started about 1995 was pretty good for most general contractors, sub-contractors, and vendors – what’s not to like about a business climate where there seems to be a never ending supply of customers and they all Contractor/Construction Manager Salary have money to spend? Home building experienced growth it hadn’t seen in many years, commercial buildings were springing up everywhere, and manufacturers were working overtime to keep up with the demand for their products.
Unfortunately, a by-product of those good times was that many people and companies in the construction industry forgot one of the basic tenets of running a successful business – the practice of providing good customer service.
Where Did All of the Customers Go?
Many young employees working in the construction industry during that decade of incredible growth had never experienced a downturn in the economy and the slowdown in the industry that often results – from their perspective, if they didn’t treat a customer right or a customer was unhappy with their work, there would always be another to take their place. Who cares about referrals when there’s a line of prospective customers knocking on your door? Why worry about whether customers are happy with their home or building when you have enough new work on the books to take your company into the next fiscal year?
Everyone who took this approach got an eye opening dose of reality when Construction Company Association activity fell off the cliff in 2006 and 2007. Anyone who has enjoyed a long career in the industry knows it will always have peaks and valleys, and while the downturns in the early 80s and 90s weren’t as severe as our current situation, general contractors, sub-contractors, and vendors were still searching for customers and many were struggling to stay in business.
Just about any construction company can thrive during the good times, but the good customer relations they cultivate during those periods can help them survive the downturns. Many of those companies who alienated customers during that decade when many earned record profits are now wishing they had a few referrals to help them survive. It’s a good point to keep in mind for when the next peak arrives.