If you are a roofing contractor, the law of averages says that sooner or later, you will have customer complaints. The grievances might be in the moment, such as noise or dirt, or occur at the end of the job, with some form of non-satisfaction with the work you carried out.

Failure to handle customer complaints effectively will put your business at risk. A dissatisfied customer can damage your reputation or even refuse to pay. It helps roofing contractors to recognise that any complaint is an opportunity to turn a disgruntled customer into an advocate. Through these eyes, you can build an even more successful company.

Our advice for avoiding complaints in the first place is to manage expectations during the marketing and sales phase and set out the scope of the work in a contract. Poor communication is a common culprit, so you should address areas that can be a source of complaint later on before you begin. Consider and talk to your customer about issues such as work hours, material placement, contacting neighbours, exterior power points, skip placement, landscape damage, moving the client’s possessions, and sign location.

The Type Of Complaint

You have not done a good job – You should offer to fix the problem or cease work and offer a refund. You could make a goodwill gesture in the form of a discount. If you agree to a refund, the law states you must issue this within fourteen days.

You failed to meet the deadline – It is a good idea to have this in writing as part of your contract. If you were unable to meet a date stipulated, then the customer might ask you to make the extra effort to complete the roofing project, for a discount, or for you to cease work and part pay.

You have not delivered what the customer asked for – Review your contract to see exactly what was agreed upon. If you discover you have not done what you said, you must complete the work, cover all costs and materials, or offer a discount.

The work is unsafe or dangerous – The customer could report the danger to the local authority or report you to Trading Standards via the Citizens Advice helpline. Your work should always be safe and follow the installation guidance described by the roofing manufacturer.

You are charging more than expected – You will need a good reason and evidence of the extra work you have done. An increase in materials costs is not a valid reason for increasing your final price. It is best to inform the customer immediately of any issue that will alter the cost, wait for an agreement before proceeding, and put it in writing.

The roofing wasn’t installed correctly – You are responsible for putting things right if you have not installed the roofing correctly. The customer might ask you to cease work and offer a discount for correcting or completing the work.

What You Should Do Next

The best approach to resolving complaints is to have them handled by someone who has worked closely with the customer. It is vital to let the client vent and have their say. You should listen, deal with feelings first, and then the facts. Throughout the roofing job, it is essential to keep all paperwork, receipts, photos of the roofing work, dates and times of the work, and any incidents.

If you cannot resolve a complaint directly, you can use a free mediation service. They offer help and advice to you and your customer and attempt to mediate a resolution in all cases. It is worth doing all you can to resolve a complaint before it becomes a costly legal issue.