Qualified Remodeler Magazine

JUN 2017

Qualified Remodeler helps independent remodeling firms to survive, become more professional and more profitable by providing must-have business information, namely best business practices, new product information and timely design ideas.

Issue link: https://qualifiedremodeler.epubxp.com/i/835806

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Page 53 of 60

where someone on the crew makes a mistake, though that's far less common. Whatever it is, figure out what the problem is and put the responsibility where it belongs. The dispute resolution process is an edu- cational process—like selling. If the home- owner reluctantly hands you a change order check for $5,000 just to get the job done and you off the property, you've made a profit but created an unhappy customer. The point in resolving a dispute is to move toward agree- ment and a happy customer. You want them to understand what's wrong and why. If they do, they'll be glad you're there to take care of the problem. n could've known that problem was there— you have no crystal ball—and that taking care of the problem does cost a lot of money, but it's not as if your company had created that problem through negligence. If that's understood, now you're dealing with a price objection. Explain what needs to be done and why—the additional work has to happen for the job to be completed—as you ask him/her to sign off on a change order. WHO'S RESPONSIBLE The important thing is to have a process that allows you to talk about issues that arise in a nonemotional way and to move it toward a satisfactory conclusion. Things go wrong on jobs all the time. There's always the possibility of unforeseen conditions or extra work. Sometimes, with exterior work, it's a maintenance issue on the homeown- er's part. And sometimes there are situations case, he/she would tell you he/she signed a contract saying your company would replace his/her roof for $20,000, and now we're asking him/her to pay an additional $5,000. Restate what he/she said. "So you're not happy we need to replace the sheathing and framing and the job will take two extra days?" Let's say he/she agrees. Ask if there's anything else about the job bothering him/ her. The reason you do this is because: 1) now his/her concern is out in the open and 2) addressing that concern won't immediately lead to others being raised. ON COMMON GROUND Once he/she seems satisfied you know what the problem is, establish some positive com- mon ground. The job started on time? True. The crew left the site spotless every day? True. In other words, everything's not bad— it's just that this problem exists, right? Now you're in a position to explain why it exists and why it will cost extra money to cor- rect, whether it's corrected by your company now or another company later. It's not some- thing you created, and it's not going away. Expect the homeowner at this point to rebut what you're saying. That's fine—it's in the give-and-take that understanding is established. What you're telling him/her may not be what he/she wants to hear, but it is the truth and it's going to take some time to sink in. Don't argue. Once the owner understands the facts, explain your goal is 100 percent satisfac- tion. However, he/she needs to know it's not your company's fault that, given lack of attic access and layers of roofing on the house, the rotting wood situation was not detect- able. Ask if he/she believes this is contractor negligence. If the answer is yes, explain any contractor working on the house would've found the problem at some point. This is what "unforeseen conditions" means and why it's a clause in the contract, and it was noted in the proposal that any rotted wood is extra. PRICE OBJECTION The homeowner, now calm and in listening mode, probably is still not going to be sat- isfied with the idea the job costs that much more. Remind them there's no way you Scott Siegal is owner of Maggio Roofing in Washington, D.C., and also owns the Certified Contractors Network. You can learn more about CCN by going to the website contractors.net. QualifiedRemodeler.com QR June 2017 | SPECIAL SECTION: HOME IMPROVEMENT PRO 55 OUTDOOR RANGE HOOD For your outdoor kitchen UL APPROVED OPTIONAL DUCT COVER OPTIONAL REMOTE WIRING American made since 1961 7 Year In-Home Warranty - The Best in the Industry 800.851.4192 www.imperialhoods.com For more info circle 55

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