How to Address the Most Common Roofing Questions from Homeowners
November 4, 2019
Have you ever had a job that was firing on all cylinders, only to have it grind to a halt when a customer's question caught you off guard? It can be tempting to brush off questions when you're in the middle of a job, but that response will probably create more problems down the road.
With a little strategy, you can turn your homeowner's roofing questions into opportunities to build rapport and deliver better customer service. Here are five of the most common roofing questions faced by contractors, and how to productively respond to them.
1. How Long Will This Take?
Most homeowners understand that roofing is weather-dependent, but they may not understand that remodeling projects have an element of the unknown. You never really know what you'll find when you pull off that old roof. But you shouldn't answer this question with a shrug and say, "It depends."
What the homeowner really wants is a framework of expectations. Respect their question, and help them understand the job and its potential timeline in days, weeks or months. That way, if there is a delay, they are more likely to be understanding.
2. What About Safety Precautions?
When a homeowner expresses concern about your jobsite precautions, it may be a simple question or something specific. Explain the protections you plan on using during the project, but also ask if they have deeper concerns. They may be worried about pets or children catching nails, or there may be a garage full of classic cars under that roof you're about to tear off. Either way, you should learn their concerns before you start the job, especially if you'll need to find creative solutions.
3. Why Are You Doing That?
It can be irritating for a crew to have a homeowner peering over their shoulder, but sometimes that's part of the job. Homeowners don't often see roofing work, and many have heard horror stories about unethical contractors exaggerating issues or cutting corners. Welcome homeowners' questions and show them that you have nothing to hide.
Of course, some homeowners are just chatty. In extreme cases, you may find it's worthwhile to have a crew member act as a chaperone, keeping the homeowner busy while the rest of the crew gets to work.
4. Are You Licensed?
The internet is overflowing with lists of suggested questions for contractors, but many were written by people with minimal experience in the trades they're writing about. For example, licensing varies dramatically by state or even municipality. If there is no licensing requirement where you operate, explain the situation to your customer. Chances are, all they really want to know is that you're operating legitimately. Earn their trust by listening to their concerns and responding appropriately.
5. Do You Use Subcontractors?
When homeowners ask about subcontractors, it's usually driven by a fear that they'll be handed over to an installer they don't know who doesn't care about their home. The solution is to give the homeowners a reason to trust the work crew. If possible, arrange for a brief meeting with the crew lead in advance of the job, or at least provide the lead's name to the homeowners. This works equally well for both subcontractors and regular employees, and demonstrates to your customers that every person on the crew is a trusted member of your team.
Using strategies like these, you'll be able to turn awkward questions into opportunities for creating loyal customers and generating referrals.