In a recent Patch posting (– July 19, 2012), columnist Cami Beiter justifiably lamented about a practice that is just plain bad business practice: Not returning telephone calls, especially if they are from potential clients.
Some shady contractors may be difficult to reach and not return calls or emails because they have to repair work they may have botched or not completed, or are simply dragging their feet in honoring a contract because they over-committed themselves with other projects.
One home improvement specialist recently told me that his industry has taken a major hit because of the fragile state of the economy, and that in his case, the greatest decrease in business was from middle income earners who simply don’t have or want to spend discretionary money unless it is necessary.
It is difficult to understand why a contractor wouldn’t return a call to a consumer looking for an estimate.
Comparison shopping works to the advantage of consumers. So is their ability to let dozens of fiends and untold numbers of social media contacts know about a negative experience involving a company or individual with whom they have done business, or in this case, a consumer who is looking to do business.
Connecticut Better Business Bureau’s Accredited Business Directory has a service that allows consumers to not only select contractors online but also request quotes from several businesses.
Home renovations are stressful enough without having to worry about poor communications before, during or after a job. This should not be an issue when dealing with respectable contractors.
For those businesspeople who have ignored calls and emails from prospective clients, a reminder that, in this millennium, open and timely communications drive many aspects of our lives. Businesspeople who don’t understand this are living in the Dark Ages and not doing themselves any favors by not even bothering to return a phone call.
Howard Schwartz is Executive Communications Director at Connecticut Better Business Bureau.