3 Reasons Project Delays Often Go from 'Inconvenient' to 'Disastrous'
Project delays are common in every industry, but the impact they can have on the customer experience in the restoration industry varies. We wanted to better understand how many 1-star reviews online were due to delays, and we were surprised to find that nearly 17% of all 1-Star reviews left for companies on Google were due to frustrations over project delays; a significant portion of the 1000 reviews we analyzed.
Chasing New Jobs Before Finishing Existing Ones
The most common reason customers complained about project delays was situations where companies wouldn’t finish what they started.
In our analysis, we found customers frequently took to Google to express frustrations about a company starting a project, only to blow off the customer for jobs with bigger pay days.
It’s extremely tempting as a business owner to get distracted by the allure of “bigger whales” that seem to have the greatest return for your business. In reality, it’s mission critical to keep every customer in the pipeline happy, because 1 bad review can drive away 22% of new prospects. This means that making a single, higher paying customer happy in the short term can be a good pay day, but if it’s done at the expense of smaller customers, in the long run you’re actually suffering a major loss.
These bad experiences were exacerbated by the fact that the business rarely provided reasoning as to why a customer's project was put on the backburner, and instead the customer was left in the dark about when their life would be back-to-normal. Most of the time, customers were quite understanding if a business was honest and upfront with them about any delays, but when they were left in limbo without explanation, their frustrations were sparked, and a bad review seemed inevitable.
Construction Dropping The Ball
Most Restoration projects aren’t finished without the help of a construction team, either inside or outside the organization.
Over the course of our analysis, we found that most of the time, restoration companies took the brunt of a negative review that was targeted towards the construction division. From the perspective of the customer, the restoration business they hired owns the outcome of the project, even if delays that occurred were the fault of the construction team.
“Their mitigation business is excellent and does great work--please note that this review does not apply to them. Their construction division caused a 2.5 month delay in the reconstruction of my home [...].”
Unfortunately, that 1-star review is still left on your business's website, and will still negatively impact your business’s standing in the eyes of potential customers.
It’s important to keep in mind that project managers should never take their foot of the gas after the restoration component of the project has been completed. Holding yourself, your team members, and any other divisions taking over the project accountable to ensure projects are completed on the timeline promised can mean the difference between a 1, and 5-Star review. If delays do occur, which they often do, it’s important to remember to always have an open and honest line of communication with the customer.