March 26, 2021
Construction companies are only as good as their last mistake. This applies to their reputation as well. While unfortunate to note, many clients can remember mistakes, and very few can recall successful projects and excellent work done. Most clients also remember mistakes long after they have been addressed.
Clients can be very unforgiving. A bad reputation can undo thousands of hours of hard work. Just like getting contractor insurance to safeguard your construction business, you also need to protect your company’s reputation at all times if you want to stay competitive.
So how do you manage damage to your construction company’s reputation?
To repair any damage to your construction company’s reputation, you need to create a plan of action. This is important, so any issues are addressed right away before they cause irreparable damage.
There are plenty of possible reasons a construction company can get a bad reputation. It can be poor safety records, frequent claims and disputes, or inability to complete projects on time.
Although it’s natural to avoid embarrassment when your construction company messes up, playing the blame game can hinder you from moving forward. If your construction company has a problem, be professional, take ownership, and admit to it right away.
This is crucial so your team can move forward and create a resolution. Owning up to any mistakes is essential if you want clients to trust your company again.
Document mistakes thoroughly.
Knowing the mistake your construction company has committed is just as important as knowing how to fix it. This is key, so you won’t have to deal with the same issues in the future. It is also a good idea to document any mistakes through photographs. While an extremely detailed description of the error can help, photos can document things better.
Implement damage control.
To prevent further damage, make sure you fix the immediate problems as soon as possible. Although it would be tempting to issue press releases and statements, sometimes they can do more damage than good, especially when done too soon.
That said, it would be better if senior management gets involved directly and talks to the parties involved. Clients often appreciate it if they know senior management is doing something to resolve the issues. It may even prevent them from taking any further actions.
Mistakes in construction should not be kept under wraps. Everyone concerned should be made aware of the issue and its impact on other aspects of the project. Make sure everyone involved understands the problem so any further damage can be minimized.
Perform project risk assessments.
If you have addressed issues that have caused significant damage to your company’s reputation, you also need to evaluate the steps used to manage the problem. Although this is something many tend to overlook, this is an integral part of the process. Project risk assessments will allow you to ensure every step was taken to remedy the situation.
You also need to provide recommendations on how you can improve your best practices to make them more efficient should similar issues arise in the future. For instance, you can dismiss employees that have caused the problem, introduce systems to prevent the problem from happening again, retrain employees, etc.
Even one mistake can cause serious damage to your company’s relationships and reputation. Don’t close your eyes and hope no one notices. Actively address the mistake, document it, and learn for the future. Only once you’ve done that can you begin rebuilding your customers’ trust.