When working on any large project, communication has a large impact on the efficiency and final outcome. A missed deadline can occur because an email wasn’t received, or a phone call not made. A spending overage can happen due to a miscommunication between parties. There are so many things that can go wrong, but also so many things that can go right if you set yourself up for success.
We work in a technology-based world. Technology can be an excellent tool for communicating, whether it is through email, a web-based portal, or text messaging. Does this mean we should discount “outdated” forms of communication such as a telephone call or a face to face visit? Absolutely not. In fact, those “outdated” forms of communication are how relationships are built. You can email with a client for years, but the moment you meet face to face, you will instantly have a more personal connection.
Having those connections is important when it comes to home modifications. Initial phone calls or in person meetings with the client builds rapport and understanding. Even when working on a workers’ compensation claim where your “client” isn’t necessarily the claimant, building those personal connections with the claimant is important. If they have no trust in you as a contractor, they are likely to throw a stop sign up at every turn, making the process long and arduous on even the “simplest” of projects.
Having a clear-cut scope of work is another way to provide good communication. When a referral for “kitchen modifications” is received, what does that mean? Are they seeking an entire kitchen remodel or does the claimant just need access to do some basic food preparation and wash their hands? Having a written scope of work signed by both parties before work begins will be a great step towards making sure all parties understand the project.
Timely updates and communication are of essence. This is where technology can be an excellent asset. A web-based portal where your client can check the status of the job on their own time can be of benefit, but only if your client is somewhat tech savvy. Maybe your client prefers emails, texts, or phone calls instead. This loops back to the initial contact with your client. Make sure to ask them how often they would prefer to receive updates and in what format.
Finally, follow up. Make sure to have that same scope of work signed indicating the project was completed to their satisfaction. Address any questions or concerns and wrap up the project with a pretty bow. Remember, word of mouth is the most powerful form of advertising. The last thing you want someone to say about you or your company is, “that person didn’t listen at all” or “I did not receive the communication I expected”. People value being heard and understood, and isn’t that what communication is all about?