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Handling Difficult Clients in the Construction Industry


Construction projects require adequate materials, excellent design and building skills, and strong knowledge of tools. They also require good communication skills.

Clients can be difficult to deal with. Even if you have a solid contract in place, you could still get into disputes with clients who think they know what they’re doing. Some clients are demanding because that’s just their personality. Others are demanding because they feel pressure from personal or financial factors.

n any case, as the contractor, you are the one who has to manage the situation and keep the client happy. Here are some ways to get through it.

Agree on the Project Plan

Be sure to manage your client’s initial expectations. It is critical that your client clearly understands what is and is not included in the project. You should both agree on a proposed budget and schedule before signing the construction. That way, everyone is on the same page from the start. If the client starts having unrealistic expectations, you can point them to the contract.

Set Firm Boundaries With Clients

There are instances where contractors find themselves having to set firm boundaries to prevent difficult clients from taking advantage of them. If you do one thing, such as offer a small discount that a prospective client has asked for, they may think you will do everything they ask of you. Therefore, you need to be careful about setting boundaries. Boundaries should be clearly defined in the contract and communicated to the client.

Document All Changes in the Project

Project changes happen. Make sure they are all tracked and documented to guard against difficult clients. All project changes should be documented in a change order, which the client should sign. When change orders are properly managed, you can easily prove to clients that they requested/approved the change order and the related costs. This can prevent false accusations and damage to your reputation.

Remain in Frequent Contact With Clients

Stay in regular communication with your clients. Be transparent with them. Avoid hiding things from them. This will reassure them that the project is going according to plan. It allows you to provide regular project updates and openly communicate any issues, which can help build trust. This can make it harder for clients to be difficult, since you are building a strong relationship.

Apologize to Your Clients

When a conflict occurs, contractors should apologize. Avoid arguing or blaming the client. If you or your employees made a mistake, it’s best to take accountability and apologize. You should also offer a remedy to help defuse the situation and hopefully calm down the client.

Contact Us Today

The construction industry is not for the weak. It takes a physically and mentally strong person to handle all the stresses involved in a project.

Are you being sued by a difficult client? Need help defending yourself? Seek legal help from a Florida contractor representation lawyer from Linkhorst Law Firm, P.A. We are fully prepared to promote your interests. Schedule a consultation today by calling 561-626-8880 or filling out the online form.



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