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Watt No Brew? Tradespeople Reveal the Top 7 Most Frustrating Customer Habits

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New research has revealed the most frustrating customer habits tradespeople have to endure while on the job. 

The research, conducted by Ultra LEDs, found that customers not being at home after arranging a job tops the list for the most frustrating customer habit, as it not only wastes time but can also cost tradespeople money. 

Coming a close second was customers who constantly ask for updates while someone is working on the job itself. Not being offered a drink made was also a common irk, coming in at number eight. 

The top seven most annoying customer habits are:

1. Not being home

Topping the list of gripes according to the research is customers not being at home after agreeing to a date and time for a job. Not only does this waste time, it can also cost a tradesperson money as this is time they could have spent on another job. With the majority of tradespeople being self-employed, any time spent not working is time they aren’t getting paid for. 

2. Constantly asking for progress updates

When working on a job, it’s no surprise that customers constantly asking for progress updates can really irritate a tradesperson. The time it takes to complete a job can of course vary, so it’s not uncommon for jobs to take longer than initially expected. However, constantly asking for progress updates may result in the job taking even longer as the tradesperson is having to stop to explain what they’re doing and how long they think it’ll take.

3. Adding on extras

Coming in at number three is customers who wait for the tradesperson to arrive and then start adding to the list of agreed jobs by asking them to do additional tasks that have not been quoted for. This is bad enough, but what can make this situation even worse is if the customer is expecting the additional tasks to be done for free. It’s worth noting that most tradespeople quote for jobs by estimating how long they will take and also the cost of buying materials, and thus price jobs up accordingly. This means that if extra tasks are added on top, this could result in the tradesperson being late for their next job and/or incurring more costs themselves.

4. Not paying on time, or trying to bring the cost down after the work has been agreed

Late payments or asking for discounts after work has commenced can have a damaging impact on a tradespersons’ business, especially for those working for themselves or as part of a small team (particularly during a cost of living crisis). This behaviour can also have an impact on their ability to do more jobs or even pay their own bills, as the vast majority of tradespeople will pay for their own tools and materials ahead of the job. This means that anyone not paying on time, or asking for a reduction after the work has started, will be hitting the tradesperson’s bottom line. It could also impact their business as a whole if a number of jobs aren’t paid on time, as it could have a knock-on effect on when staff or suppliers get paid.

5. Getting harassed by a pet

Not everyone loves pets, especially if it’s an overly aggressive dog that’s barking constantly or just generally getting in the way of the tradesperson. That’s why this comes in at number five on the most annoying customer habits. Tradespeople want to get on with their job and they don’t need a pet harassing them; this could be everything from a dog standing and barking at them to a cat climbing up at them or constantly getting in their way. Not only is this occurrence irritating for the tradesperson, but it can also potentially be dangerous (especially for the pet if they were to stand on something sharp or ingest something or for the tradesperson if they’re bitten or scratched). 

6. Not having enough room to complete the job

Tradespeople don’t expect you to undertake a full spring clean just for them to be able to do the job, but they will need space to work and will usually have a lot of tools or equipment with them to enable them to complete the work. They will only allocate a certain amount of time for the job so it’s worth making sure none of that time is wasted or used to clear personal items out of the way so they’re able to complete the work. 

7. Not being offered a drink

This one isn’t really annoying but more about common courtesy. However, it still annoyed enough tradespeople to make the list at number eight. For those working hard on the job, they may not have had a chance to stop all day if they’re busy so being offered a drink can be a lifesaver. Even if it’s just a glass of water or a cup of tea, it can be enough to make their day. 

Discussing the research, Tom Cain, technical engineer at Ultra LEDs, said: “As a tradesperson, customer interaction is a key part of the job but it can also be the most frustrating. When you’re on the job, the last thing you want is for the customer to be constantly asking for updates, being barked at by a dog or turning up for them not to be home when you’ve agreed a date and time.”

“If you’re having issues with your customers, it can be difficult to remain diplomatic. However, it’s important for both the business and your own personal reputation to remain professional.”

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