What Clients Want and What It Should Cost

Anything to do with prices. Raw material prices or prices for finished material (or labor such as well drilling). Project prices (how much will it cost??), etc.

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Re: Customers in Thailand

Postby Attila » Sun Aug 21, 2005 7:29 pm

robint wrote:...
The original model form i referred to came from the Institute of Civil engineers and is 30 years old - like me :D


You are coming from the Institute of Civil engineers? Now that explains it all :wink:
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not quite

Postby robint » Mon Aug 22, 2005 6:49 pm

:D

please dont misunderstand me, I am not by any means a civil engineers, Its just that the last bit of building I did in the UK so 10 years ago involved this model form of contract (which was pretty indigestible)

I believe they have moved on since then and have a more user friendly system by all accounts which might be adapted to local conditions in Thailand

Not least it will address all the common points that need to be addressed when making a building contract between 2 parties. Most of the frustrations highlighted on this forum could have been reduced if a proper contract was in place suppoted by sufficient design and construction plans

I have sympathy for the genuine builder, because Clients are not skilled in the arts and tend to tree-top everything, expect you to read their minds, get angry when they dont get what they expected etc.

IMHO the contract is more urgently necessary to keep the Client in order and force him to make decisions rather than the oppressed and much maligned builder.

but this is the LOS :lol:
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Postby the limey » Mon Aug 22, 2005 8:48 pm

Robint has a really valid point there, one of my customers now wants me to go out and choose the granite for four posts, due to the sizes it's about 16 sq met, now the granite he liked was 4,800baht per sq met, he then said it was too expensive and for me to choose, granite prices start from 550baht per sq meter, that would put me in a no win situation if I choose one he doesn't like.
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Re: not quite

Postby Attila » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:04 pm

robint wrote:I have sympathy for the genuine builder, because Clients are not skilled in the arts and tend to tree-top everything, expect you to read their minds, get angry when they dont get what they expected etc.


Well, clients do always get angry if they feel not treated fairly. A "client" does build not often, usually. Some just once, others may be 2 or 3 times. You expect them to be experts?

Obviously you have never worked in customer service anywhere. You have to present the facts in language and terms which the "client" understands. This is your duty, if you want to have his money for your work. You cannot expect a "client" to get the knowledge level of a professional builder just because he is a "client" once or twice in his life.

I recommend to go in a book shop and get a book about customer service and customer satisfaction. Asiabooks etc. have plenty of them.

robint wrote:IMHO the contract is more urgently necessary to keep the Client in order and force him to make decisions rather than the oppressed and much maligned builder.


Then stop whining about the difficult and stupid customers and learn how to communicate properly with them, and how to guide them to make the decisions you need them to make for your work.

It is easy, but you need to loose your arrogance. Try walking in your customer's shoes for a while, you might understand that he is only expecting a good job from you. And what a good jobs means for him.

If your communication skills are not sufficient, then hire someone to help you, but stop whining. :roll:

robint wrote:but this is the LOS :lol:


And that is why a 10 year old british contract will not help you much at a Thai court. You might want to try it with a current Thai language one. :wink:
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Postby the limey » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:19 pm

Well, clients do always get angry if they feel not treated fairly. A "client" does build not often, usually. Some just once, others may be 2 or 3 times. You expect them to be experts?

Obviously you have never worked in customer service anywhere. You have to present the facts in language and terms which the "client" understands. This is your duty, if you want to have his money for your work. You cannot expect a "client" to get the knowledge level of a professional builder just because he is a "client" once or twice in his life.

I recommend to go in a book shop and get a book about customer service and customer satisfaction. Asiabooks etc. have plenty of them.


It would be much better if the client actually had some idea of what he actually wanted and went to a bookshop and decided on what he wanted, rather than playing guessing games with the builder and asking idiotic questions :)
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Postby the limey » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:22 pm

And that is why a 10 year old british contract will not help you much at a Thai court. You might want to try it with a current Thai language one.


The language is irrelevant, if there is only an English contract then in the case of going to court that has to be translated into Thai, if there is a Thai and English one then the Thai one is used in court.
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Postby Attila » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:38 pm

the limey wrote:
And that is why a 10 year old british contract will not help you much at a Thai court. You might want to try it with a current Thai language one.


The language is irrelevant, if there is only an English contract then in the case of going to court that has to be translated into Thai, if there is a Thai and English one then the Thai one is used in court.


Is that your opinion, or standard practice in Thai law?

Is it guaranteed that a Thai court will translate and enforce a foreign language contract, if there is no (signed) Thai language version of it available?
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Postby Attila » Mon Aug 22, 2005 9:41 pm

the limey wrote:
Well, clients do always get angry if they feel not treated fairly. A "client" does build not often, usually. Some just once, others may be 2 or 3 times. You expect them to be experts?

Obviously you have never worked in customer service anywhere. You have to present the facts in language and terms which the "client" understands. This is your duty, if you want to have his money for your work. You cannot expect a "client" to get the knowledge level of a professional builder just because he is a "client" once or twice in his life.

I recommend to go in a book shop and get a book about customer service and customer satisfaction. Asiabooks etc. have plenty of them.


It would be much better if the client actually had some idea of what he actually wanted and went to a bookshop and decided on what he wanted, rather than playing guessing games with the builder and asking idiotic questions :)


I strongly recommend to go in a book shop and get a book about customer service and customer satisfaction. Asiabooks etc. have plenty of them.
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Postby the limey » Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:13 pm

Attila the hun, it's the law, a Thai contract always is the one used in court if there are multiple language contracts,the others are ignored, if there is only an English contract then that has to be translated and is used in court.
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Postby the limey » Mon Aug 22, 2005 10:16 pm

If your communication skills are not sufficient, then hire someone to help you, but stop whining.


I must remember this quote to use on my customers :)
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Postby Attila » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:33 am

the limey wrote:
If your communication skills are not sufficient, then hire someone to help you, but stop whining.


I must remember this quote to use on my customers :)


Limey, from what you post here it seems that your customers are not building houses as a business, but for themselves, for more or less private use.

You are the business, the expert, not they. But that is what you expect from them, to be experts, and to know what experts know.

Whenever you mention your customers in a posting here, you complain about them. Again and again. Obviously there is a problem :!:

As long as you do not communicate with them in a terminology which they understand, and as long as you do not make sure that they understand what you need them to understand, and as long as you do not guide them to make the decisions you need them to make, you will have unhappy and complaining customers. And we have to listen to you whining about them. :roll:

Understanding the needs of your customers, and having a clear and complete communication with them, these are basic business requirements. Ignore them at your own peril. But stop complaining and whining. :roll:

You have a problem with these "stupid" customers, and these "stupid" customers with you. You can look for "better" customers, and your customers can look for "better" builders. Or you work on your business skills, here the communication and customer satisfaction skills. It is totally up to you.

In case you want to attack this problem by improving the way you handle your customers, let me repeat my recommendation to either get some good books about customer service and customer satisfaction, which usually include the communication skills. Or to hire someone to do that possibly too difficult task for you.
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Limey did see a movie.

Postby Attila » Tue Aug 23, 2005 1:40 am

the limey wrote:Attila the hun.

Is there any specific reason for this addition to my nick? :roll:
Anyway, Robin had been faster, see my comments to him somewhere here.
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bless you Hun

Postby robint » Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:33 pm

:D

Hi Hun

I forgive you, as you have misunderstood what I have been trying to say. Dont worry about it. Your knowledge of the horrible english language may be inadequate but that also applies to people who are native speakers. Its not your fault, its this mongrel language we are trying to use. Not even the great Almighty could have chosen a worse language for communication between peoples :D

There is also another thread spawned on the subject of contracts

http://coolthaihouse.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=202

In this I note

quote

but a word of caution here before we all get too litigious,

its often said that such and such contract isnt worth the paper its written on. To some extent that is invariably true IF at the outset, there was no good will to the agreement when it was signed. If it was a bad apple from the start then it will only get worse.

So in reality the contract's main purpose is to set out what is required form both parties in sufficient detail to allow the work to be performed and accepted by both sides.

The minute you have to take the contract out of the drawer again and get litigious then you have failed.

unquote

Perhaps MrD will make a special topic just on Contracts? and pull alll this stuff together. Its very important


:D
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Clients from hell

Postby robint » Tue Aug 23, 2005 5:49 pm

:D

I am afraid I have to come down firmly in favour of Limey's point of view

Clients can be extremely unreasonable and morally dishonest. They think nothing of wasting huge amounts of the builders time (because they are not paying for it) Squeal like stuck pigs when the price goes up because of their changes. I wonder how often Clients are found lying about what they said they wanted

:D

Its a bit like a Client hiring a taxi driver to do some shopping and saying

Go down to the supermarket and get me a weeks shopping for a family of 4 and I want a different meal each day - here is half the money for materials how much for your services for the week

of course the taxi man will go and get what he beleives is wanted, then deliver it back to the Client

now the arguments starts

What did you get that for, I cant eat bacon blah blah, take it back at once

Taxi man replies

you didnt tell me that, its your fault, that will cost you an extra trip


I think you get the picture, and although it may seem banal, its the way many Clients behave

So for your homework, children, write out a skeleton contract to cover the Master Servant relationship for the above service, (no more than 100 words or 1/2 sheet A4)
:D

btw Attla

I have crossed swords with the biggest meanest Clients in the business (ME oil Cos) and should have received a knighthood for services beyond the call of duty. Thank kerriste I am out of that game :D

building houses here is light entertainment by comparison
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Postby the limey » Tue Aug 23, 2005 6:11 pm

Atilla.
There seems to be three sorts of customers here, the smallist percentage are the ones who actually have some vision and some building knowledge, these are a pleasure to deal with.

The idiots who know absolutely nothing but it has to done their way. A perfect example of this was on a window placement, I explained that that was where the tv would be going so a window behind the tv facing south would not be a good idea, another example is when we raised the floor of a bathroom and the owner refused to have the counter raised for the sink, he then had to get another company in to raise the counter because he was too ashamed to admit he was wrong.

The idiots who absolutely know nothing but want to question everything. Now these are the worst, they waste so much of mine and my staffs time asking for everything to be explained to them that generally it ends up in so much time being wasted that it would be best to just pull off the job, I mean even down to ridiculous questions like, "why are you taking the marble slabs?"Now in this case I was taking them to get the edges rounded off, they had been cut to size and each piece needed one edge rounded off, this was a two hour conversation while I was driving to the place and then sitting outside the place for over an hour carrying on the conversation, I really do not need my time wasted like that, it would not happen in the UK, anyway thankfully for this site I shall just give them the link to here so they can ask here :)

There is a fourth catergory, the ones that want to help, these are the worst, they can't speak Thai but they try to ask the staff to do things, this sort of customer turns into a nightmare, I would goto a job site and see some of the things my staff were doing and ask them what the hell they were doing, it would turn out that the customer had told them to do it that way, ie painting a wall before cables were chased in and stupid things like that which would just waste time and money, another classic example was a customer telling one of my staff to polish the edges on top of his granite kitchen counter, my staff kept refusing and the customer got angrier and angrier, due to my staff not being able to explain to the moron that the angle grinder was set up for doing all the curved edges, after he was shouting and screaming at them and calling them Thai monkeys they showed him what an angle grinder set up for doing curves does to flat surfaces, never did get the burn marks out fully.
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