MOUNTAIN VIEW, CALIF. — When choosing a contractor, customers say that trust and integrity are more influential than the price of the bid, according to a survey released earlier this year.
The study, sponsored by Intuit Construction Business Solutions, found these qualities to be especially important with residential customers, 43% of whom cited trust as the No. 1 reason they selected a particular contractor. Conducted by independent research firm Decipher, the study surveyed more than 500 customers of commercial and residential construction firms.
More than 80% of respondents also cited personality and professionalism as important characteristics in selecting a firm. When asked how they had heard about the firms they hired, more than 75% of respondents from each group favored word-of-mouth over telephone directory and Web research.
“The message for contractors is clear: Company integrity is as critical to the success of a construction business as the cost of the job and the quality of the finished product,” said Carol Novello, president of Intuit Construction Business Solutions, which produces Master Builder and QuickBooks Contractor Editions and support services.
The study found that contractors are generally succeeding in keeping their customers happy. The survey revealed:
l 94% percent of businesses would recommend their construction firm;
l 84% percent of homeowners said they would recommend their contractor; and
l 60% of those commercial and residential customers trust the construction firms with which they do business.
Commercial and residential customers also agreed on their main reasons for dissatisfaction. A total of 56% of residential and 40% of commercial customers cited job quality as their primary reason for dissatisfaction. Other key factors included low productivity and efficiency, and both groups felt that construction firms need to do a better job communicating with them. In fact, 41% of commercial customers wanted more clarity and promptness in the communications from their contractor.