I spoke with Judah Haas of Alchemy Concrete for the Concrete Contractor February/March 2021 issue to talk about their award winning decorative concrete work. If you haven’t already, check out the article "Lakeside Magic" at ForConstructionPros.com/21259830. The work done is a great example of a lakeside home set in the woods of the north half of the Midwest (in this case Wisconsin). What stood out to me while speaking with the team was their ability to not only adapt to the unforeseen issues that came up, but their willingness to work with the client and graduate what would have been a standard job to a custom work of (dare I say) art. I don’t want to tell the entire story here, but I will say that it seemed like it was one of those projects that the client kept adding.
One of the owners even joined the contractor in the office to get hands-on in the creation of a table they designed.
I’m sure you’ve experienced something like this once or twice and I bet these requests often sounded almost impossible to do. Handling these situations with professionalism, compassion (and passion), as well as a handful of patience and understanding can help projects to grow and can be an important part of keeping your client happy. Although some good communication and educating the customer on what is and is not possible can go a long way too. It’s this sense of accommodation and willingness to adapt to the evolving project that allowed the award-winning work to be exactly that.
While the team at Alchemy went above and beyond, I have to believe that any contractor out there would do the same. Of the few contractors I’ve spoken with so far in my few months with Concrete Contractor each and every conversation left me with the feeling that they valued good work done well and that includes working with the customer. In an article from 2007, Linda Hanson writes about how happy customers come back and discusses the value of good customer service. Two of the six suggestions include making customer service a focus from the top down and to know your customer. (You can find Hanson’s piece at ForConstructionPros.com/10297917.)
Judging by the project by Alchemy Concrete Inc. as an example of what can be done by good communication with the customer, Hanson’s advice still rings true. In the end, is it just being polite, or it is good business?
Pretty sure it’s both.
Stay safe out there.