Everyone likes a compliment, but so many people find it easier to complain than to say something positive. Or, maybe your rule of thumb is “no news is good news,” so that when you don’t hear anything – negative or positive — you assume all is well. After all, if anyone had any complaints, they’d be quick to tell someone – whether they post it for all to see or write a personal note to the service provider.
It’s important to look for contractors who share positive feedback about their business. These are most likely going to be hand-picked by the contractor and be nothing but positive, but you might be surprised at some of the things people say. You can find out a lot about a service provider and his or her company by carefully reading testimonials. Every encounter counts for a small businessperson, so testimonials are very important to them. You, as the consumer, want to hear from satisfied customers. How were they treated? Was the builder respectful of their time, schedules and their homes? Did the builder and the subcontractors arrive on time every day and did they keep the project on track?
You might also want to know if the builder was clean and neat, making sure the site was as clean as possible before leaving for the night. Were there any errors or challenges in the project, and how were they corrected? Was the project brought in on budget? If not, why not?
Another big issue is communication. How efficient was the communication, and how effective? When you wanted to reach the builder, was he easily accessible? How did you communicate with him – text, phone, e-mail, face-to-face?
Not every testimonial will have all these questions answered. You may find that many of a builder’s testimonials have a recurring theme – great service or outstanding communication, for example. If you see positive comments about the things that are important to you, don’t miss the boat – take the next step and meet with the builder, see some of his work, and start building a relationship. You’ll probably find that the testimonials are just the tip of the iceberg.