IMHO, >A good customer knows, or has a good idea of his/her needs. >Said person further understands his/her options or is willing to take the time to be educated to them. >Has a basic understanding of the 'Big Picture' & choreography involved in a project. >Also,of course, understands the 'Bottom Line', and how they are the primary factor in it.
> The above can be cultivated by a contractor through handouts & links ( saves your personal time orating) I have found this quite useful , and is an indicator as to what level of competance and/or involvement a customer has or is willing to pursue.
>The bad ones? First, they do not subscribe to the above, secondly...in respect to keeping this a serious thread, there just isn't enough cyberspace for all the war stories involving them...
[This message has been edited by sparky (edited 10-20-2001).]
#4826 - 10/20/0109:06 AMRe: What makes a Good Customer?
They should not always be looking for the cheapest solution.
They should not ask me to do something unsafe.
Timely payment is always a big plus.
They shouldn't be asking for estimates on every dinky little job, some work is best done on a time & material basis. A good customer trusts you not to gouge them.
As far as they bad customers are concerned, watch out for Doctors, get your money up front.
The following is not meant to offend anyone's religious sensitivities, but I have found that the more a person proclaims how good of a Christian they are, the tighter I need to hold my wallet and the closer I should keep the Mechanic's Lien forms.
Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
#4829 - 10/20/0111:29 AMRe: What makes a Good Customer?
A good customer, I get a lot of work by referral, so they know me somewhat aforhand.I did a job this summer where they wanted a new service, fix all the three-ways, really a general rewire. I require 1/2 upfront, I dont do other peoples work with my money. The job came to about 2400 dollars, I wrote up a letter of agreement we signed it, gave me cash as she is wont to do and said, ok next week when you start we will be on vacation so here are the keys to the house, we will see you when we get back. Thats a good customer.
#4831 - 10/20/0101:15 PMRe: What makes a Good Customer?
Bill, I'll exercise some restraint, it IS a good Q... Tom, well said, Praise Lord! Virgil, I think you've hit a few 'Top Ten' there.. All; Let's put the ball in our court for a sec, we are soliciting work, a trade we are unfamiliar with, it's a cold call, we need to decipher 'sales pitch' from 'trade standards'.... so it's a 2 way street, and the 'Good Customer' will follow suit given the correct input & opportunity.
Have I gone astray of the Q ??
#4832 - 10/20/0102:37 PMRe: What makes a Good Customer?
Good customers don't keep you waiting. They know what they want ahead of time, & make good on their end of the agreement. I'm not sure it's fair to discuss this with you, Bill. (Does anyone remember the picture he had of the umbrella with the glass of lemonade beneath it??) You're out of my league!
#4833 - 10/20/0102:48 PMRe: What makes a Good Customer?
Tom: Your right about Doctors, amazing how things get confused with them. Slow paying, ouch, if we paid our bill to them like they do, we would be getting nasty phone calls. Which ones to avoid ? The ones I try to avoid but with call backs, it tough are the ones that stand there and watch. I put enough pressure on myself without having to have the customer add to it, and the inevitable question , ......And you wont forget to do such and such right ? As Tom says the lien forms handy, thats why I always use a letter of agreement, and then you can come back to him and say, this is what we agreed to, and what you are asking is a change, therefore, an extra. But I have found from experience, to treat Customers with the utmost respect, even if they happen to be yelling, always proceed calmly and make your point, in other words," kill'em with kindness " it works everytime, and some of the most ( originally most billergerant), become the best customers. Another thing I have found to keep good customers is to let them know if I am going to be late as far ahead of the chosen time as possible. One guy told that i was the first one to ever show up at the time he said he would, small things mean alot, to people, Just my opinion.