5 Possible Pitfalls of a Repair Job
Your business reputation is the foundation of your success. While repair work for any building situation can be costly in terms of time and money, the need to go back and repair any segment of the project can also undermine your reputation. There are hidden potential pitfalls in any repair job.
1. The Professional “Pond” Perception
We’ve all heard the expression “Big fish in a little pond,” but have you stopped to think that regardless of your current standing in your local trade community, or the size of it, word gets around. While one floor repair may not make a big difference in a lifetime career, a string of them will most certainly cost you. Whether you’re the GC or the flooring expert on the job, your reputation stands in a larger professional community that will form opinions.
2. “Opportunity Cost”
In a world where time is money, time spent on a repair job is also time lost for the next job or the next opportunity. When your time has to be spent identifying the problem, supplying crew and materials, and addressing all the other costs of fixing a problem floor, the impact at the other end can include delayed schedules on current projects, or even lost jobs because your resources have been stretched too thin. These will obviously affect your bottom line, but they can also tarnish a gleaming reputation. If your next job bid comes with a questionable reputation, you can see the downward spiral.
3. Social Media Fallout
It’s no secret to say that social media has the power to make or break a situation. If your customer chooses to go public with his complaint through Twitter, Facebook or any other social media site, your problem grows exponentially. Even if your reputation among your peers is strong, public perception can be devastating in a world where individual customers are increasingly involved in planning and hiring local contractors, or in overseeing their own building projects. Obviously this type of publicity is a problem, but don’t let your response make the situation worse. Stay positive and open to communication in every public forum.
4. Perceptions of Professionalism
Just as social media can turn a low-key situation into a media nightmare, so too can perception be an insidious underminer of your business or personal reputation. If the cause of the problem is unclear, or liability is in question, the end result may be a strike on your reputation as a professional, regardless of the facts of the situation. As author Rick Riordian once pointed out, “Humans see what they want to see,” and they may find it hard to see past the repair to the reputation behind it.
5. Warranty vs Confidence
Repairs are often covered under a warranty- a good faith protection that should serve to protect your reputation, right?
A warranty definitely suggests the provider’s confidence in their product and performance. However, the bar moves higher in terms of reputation as soon as a customer has to invoke a warranty. It’s easier to break a reputation than it is to build it, so always be sure that if the repair is warranty work that it is done better than the original installation. It will take your customer’s confidence in the repair to undo any damage the original installation issues may have caused to your reputation.
Having pointed out these 5 potential problems, keep in mind that it’s not all bad news.
Prevention (Or Possibly the Cure)
With 3 steps, you can protect your reputation even through a floor repair. These 3 factors form the due diligence of maintaining a professional reputation:
1. Know Your Trade
A little know-how goes a long way, but intentional knowledge can prevent a wealth of problems. Take time to stay current with developments in the concrete and building trades. Know the current standards for concrete and testing methods. Invest in learning more about the risks and preventions of flooring problems, including moisture measurement and mitigation. There is a wealth of information available online or from other resources to learn from and interact with industry experts, from certified courses to informational articles and forums. With the latest information at your fingertips, you can bring confidence to the job site (and to your reputation) for the best possible prevention practices and the quickest, most professional repairs that may arise.
2. Accurate Moisture Measurement
Moisture-related problems form a key issue in flooring failures. Knowing the science and the standards behind moisture movement in concrete and other flooring materials can also be the number one preventative tool in concrete and flooring repairs. Accurate relative humidity (RH) testing for concrete, and quality moisture meters for other materials, ensure that the installation is done right the first time, and that data integrity is complete and trackable through the entire process. You never want your process to be the cause of the problem, but when you’ve done it right the first time, any issues that arise become an opportunity to build your good standing rather than tarnish it.
Professional conduct at every stage of the process will do more to protect your reputation than any other strategy you can devise. When you are professional in your knowledge, your testing methods, your communication, your customer handling and your follow-through, project managers and private customers alike will provide the highest possible recommendations and referrals, even if a repair shows up on your horizon.