Of all the things that builders dread the most on a project, the call back has to be among the worst. Getting a call from what you thought was a satisfied homeowner to discover a previously unforeseen problem can quickly turn into a giant rat’s nest.
First, you need to solve the problem, resulting in delays and lost time and money. Then, you have the added problem of having a client who may not be as satisfied as they once were. And in this day and age, an unsatisfied client is likely to leave poor reviews and withhold crucial references and referrals.
So, the key to dealing with callbacks lies in preventing them from occurring in the first place. Thankfully, there are steps that any builder can take that can help reduce the occurrences of this costly and time-consuming problem.
Most builders have favorite products and materials that they use on a regular basis. You know them, you trust them, and you have your favorite dealer for where to procure them. But even though you use the product regularly, how well do you really know it?
Most manufacturers offer training and in-depth informational sessions on their materials and products. Some of these pieces of training are offered online, others will involve certification that can help you grow your business as well. In any case, by taking the training or following up on informational sessions, you are likely to learn things about the material you didn’t before, such as certain circumstances that may cause it to fail.
Manufacturer not meeting you halfway? Consistently having issues with something despite training or informational sessions? Start researching other materials, products, and companies. Just because you’re having problems with one material does not mean that you will have the same problems with another.
Take house wrap for example. It’s integral to every house you build, and you likely keep picking up the same type again and again because you have some left over, because you’re used to it, or because your dealer gives you a good deal. But if that house wrap keeps failing during a weather-related delay, lets moisture into the home to become trapped and turn to mold months after the family has moved in, or is causing delays in siding, then it’s time to move on.
Switching to another material, like Barricade house wrap, which stands up to weather even in lengthy delays, allows the house to breathe, and is easy to install siding on could solve your problems and help prevent callbacks.
Just because you’ve always used one product doesn’t mean that you always need to. If you find yourself getting callbacks, try looking into different versions of the same material to find another answer.
This may sound self-explanatory, but while previously homeowners looked at things like cost when they purchased a home, now they’re looking at longer-term goals, such as energy efficiency, durability, and quality of the build.
In other words, while you may need to spend more on the materials, investing in quality products will not only mean fewer callbacks for problems down the road, it will also mean the ability to sell to those homeowners who are willing to pay a premium for better materials. This will mean educating yourself on the materials in question, and in turn educating potential buyers and clients as well. This legwork often pays off as you’ll find that quality materials often install more quickly and need fewer revisions or callbacks, which in turn build customer trust, and can result in more referrals and leads to help you build your business more effectively long-term.
Callbacks are frustrating and expensive for everyone involved. And while you can’t avoid all of them, you can reduce the number overall. Take these steps to reduce callbacks on your jobs and start growing your business more effectively in the future.