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A Roofer’s Guide for How to Deal with Difficult Clients

Two pegs on wooden blocks with a gap between them

We’ve all been there as roofing professionals—that one roofing client whose life purpose seems to be making your job harder.

Clients are just people, which means some of them may, unfortunately, be difficult to work with. But, unlike in personal relationships, seeking counseling between you and your clients is not advisable.

So, how do you deal with difficult clients? Screaming into your pillow after a particularly frustrating conversation may temporarily help you feel better, but it doesn’t really help the situation.

Thankfully, you’re not alone. All business owners across all industries have dealt with a challenging client at some point. In this blog post, we’ll cover how roofers can deal with difficult clients.

Knowing When Feedback Is Valid

Before we dive into our advice, it’s important to know how to differentiate between a difficult client and someone trying to help you.

Take a step back and ask yourself, “Are they truly being difficult? Or is there a larger problem in my processes?”

When people give us feedback, it’s natural to respond defensively and label that individual as “difficult.” Sometimes, they are just being difficult. But other times, customers are truly trying to give you valid feedback about your business.

The more experience you have in your profession, the easier it gets to recognize the difference between the two.

When a customer genuinely gives you valid feedback, try to keep an open mind and use it to improve your processes.

4 Strategies Roofers Can Use to Deal with Difficult Clients

We’ve rounded up some useful tips and tricks to help you professionally deal with challenging clients. Let’s jump in.

Document Everything

It’s crucial to keep detailed records of all interactions, agreements, and changes with your client. If issues arise with a difficult client later, you’ll want to have documentation to reference.

You never want to find yourself in a situation where it’s your word against theirs. That’s why documentation is essential.

Roofing software allows contractors to store and organize files in one place. This ensures you have a clear paper trail on your side if you need it.

Listen and Communicate

Active listening and proactive communication can go a long way in resolving conflicts with difficult clients. You may think you’re a great listener, but people often think they’re better at listening than they actually are.

Research has found that 96% of people who thought they were good listeners only retained about half of what they heard. However, if you try to improve your listening skills, you can improve your conflict resolution skills.

Identify the root cause of the client’s complaint and address it promptly. Clear communication can prevent misunderstandings from escalating into larger problems.

Establish Boundaries

Conflicts often arise due to unclear expectations or miscommunications. To avoid conflicts from starting in the first place with a difficult client, establish expectations from the onset.

Clearly outline your:

  • Working hours
  • Response times
  • Preferred communication methods
  • Scope of the work
  • Timelines
  • Costs
  • Materials

Use a detailed roofing contract to set these expectations and prevent confusion later on. Since both parties must agree and sign the contract, it can prevent conflict down the line.

Additionally, before you’re at the contract stage, make your roofing estimates as realistic and clear as possible.

Abusive behavior from a client is absolutely unacceptable. It’s OK to drop clients who repeatedly violate boundaries. As a business owner, it’s paramount that you prioritize your team’s safety.

Save Your Sanity with Roofing Software

These simple tips can help you deal with difficult clients in your roofing business. In addition to setting expectations and communication, contractors can invest in roofing software to keep their business organized.

Roofing software helps you manage projects, communicate with clients, and keep all your documentation in one place. When you have the right tools at your disposal, you can set your roofing company up for success.

Start a free 14-day trial with JobNimbus today to see how you can elevate operations at your roofing business.

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