Tips on handling customers to win and keep winning building projects

We may be teaching grandmother to suck eggs here, but it’s got to be worth the two minutes it should take you to read this, to confirm that you’re king or queen of customer service!

Making a good first impression

When you visit a prospective customer for the first time, dress professionally but not out of character. In other words dress so that you feel comfortable but don’t come straight off the site – it’s not a good look.

Either turn up five minutes early or on time and make sure you get the name of the person right!

Be sure you understand their expectations, when they want you to start, when do they expect completion. Take notes, it’s not a memory test.

Don’t be drawn into giving a top-of-the-head figure.

Agree a course of action. Tell them what you’re going to do next, and when they can expect it. Leave them with your business card. If you come across professionally there’s more chance they’ll believe you’ll carry out the building project professionally.


Always follow up promptly. Send a brief email to thank them for their time, summarise the conversation and confirm when they can expect to receive the quote. Then keep your word. If you give yourself a decent time frame then you can spend longer on the quote. If you don’t have much time yourself rather than miss out on the opportunity to quote altogether (or if it’s particularly complex) you could give the job to a professional estimating service.

Handing over the quote

Ideally you should take the professional looking quote round in person, smartly presented in a folder or clear wallet at the very least. Go through it with them, ensuring that they understand all the details. Leave knowing when they plan to make a decision.

Follow up again

Is asking for an update being pushy? We don’t think so. You’re entitled to know where you stand and in our experience customers like that you’re interested. If they’re investing a large sum of money they’ll want their contractor to show keenness.

Once the business is won

Do a good job!

Customer complaints

Ok things go wrong. However, it’s how you handle the problem that determines their feelings about you at the end. (And of course if something goes wrong and you’re not at fault, a good contract will make sure that you don’t wind up out of pocket).


Are you getting it right? You’ll never know if you don’t ask the question. If you don’t want to have a conversation, you could give the customer a simple questionnaire to fill out, or even an online survey. Perhaps offer a voucher as a thank you. And act on the comments. Everyone can always improve.

And why does all of this matter? It’s all about the referrals and recommendations. It’s much cheaper than advertising and promotion.

A star performance

Link a third-party ratings and review system to your website, or invite reviews on your facebook page. If you’ve done a good job this is when you’ll be rewarded. And don’t worry too much about the odd fallen star. It proves that you’re genuine. Chances are you’re suspicious of businesses with only 100% positive reviews? Nobody’s perfect.

Do all of this and you could be one step ahead of the competition, and with a smart, detailed and accurate quote you’re already half way there!

Why not look at some of our own five star reviews. To make life that much easier and help your chances of winning even more new business give HBXL Professional Services a call on 0117 9167894 or send your plans to You’ve nothing to lose from a chat – and everything to gain!