Even the most experienced and skilled of installers can face problems from time-to-time. While we know some challenges can be unavoidable, the customer usually won’t appreciate excuses and will still expect the job to get completed on time and within budget. Chris Ingram looks at the most prominent examples of this and offers some top tips on how to handle the situation.

One of the biggest bugbears for homeowners is being told that their installation will take longer than expected, but delays are often entirely out of a tradesperson’s hands. Delays in supply chains, unexpected weather conditions and hidden issues within the fabric of a site or building can all hamper an installer’s ability to complete the job on time.

Dealing with delays

There are several ways to deal with delays. Selecting products that won’t buckle under different climate conditions is key in helping installers progress projects, whatever the weather.

Delays in the supply chain - which infuriate everyone involved, it must be said - are a little trickier to handle. Actively seeking suppliers that offer quick turnaround times can help with this, particularly if they offer a service such as guaranteed next day delivery.

Great expectations

The expectations of an impatient customer can hinder the progress of a job or make it seem delayed, when in fact you know that the project couldn’t be completed any quicker. As installers who pride themselves on the quality of their work know – great things can’t be rushed.

While it’s important to understand customers’ expectations and deadlines, communication is key in ensuring that they in return appreciate the level of precision and skill required for the project. Managing their expectations from the start, taking time to explain the intricacies of a job before you begin is crucial. Installers should also highlight any changes to circumstances as quickly as possible to keep the customer in the loop.

Money, money, money

It can be more than frustrating when a customer opts for a competitor offering an unrealistically low price. Installers can reduce the likelihood of this happening without taking a cut to their income by itemising their quote and showing exactly how the price has been calculated, along with explaining how their skills, experience and knowledge make them the ideal candidate for the job.

In the same arena, waiting for payment – or even worse chasing for payment – is an aspect of the job that nobody relishes. This is a particular nightmare when the money is needed for another upcoming project. Planning ahead and agreeing a payment plan with customer can help installers ensure they’re not left out of pocket.

Chris Ingram is managing director of Continental Underfloor.