Do you have plans on running a concrete polishing company and are looking for some tips for success? Or maybe you’re interested in the polishing process itself and want to gather some tips for doing it yourself?
This guide works for both of these reasons, but the main purpose is the process and customer service. These days, it’s not enough that you do your work well if you’re unpleasant to work with.
The word will travel fast with social media and everything else present and you might soon find out that it’s hard to find work when some nice, not so skilled fellow, is drowning in work. Now, this is just an example and depends on a lot of small details, but I’ve known it to happen so there is a bit of truth in there.
Concrete polishing as a profession can be a very rewarding and special job. Although it may be difficult, tricky, and at times hard to accomplish, the end result is always worth the circumstances. And if you get your customer to like the process, you know they will do some free advertising for you when their friends ask them about it.
Nevertheless, to help you along in the job, here are a few tips on how to make your concrete polishing job easier.
Observe faults at concrete
One of the first and most important tips for polishing concrete is to observe the concrete before you begin. Knowledgeable concrete layers and polishers will be able to tell from the appearance of the concrete just what grit of a polishing pad to start on.
This can eliminate many of the preliminary rounds of trial and error. Also, if there are faults in the concrete, like cracks, they should be fixed before grinding anything or give the advice to fix them to the customers.
The end result is always as good as the groundwork behind it. Also, most of the time the finisher will get all the blame so it’s good to be sure that you’re working on a good surface. Customer satisfaction is a good seller and sometimes taking few extra steps to pay off.
Start with fine grit is safer
Secondly, when you begin with your concrete polishing tools, start with very fine grit. Remember that the point of polishing is to get down to the cream, not the aggregate. Thus, if the cream of the concrete is a very thin layer, you do not want to use a very coarse grit and take off the entire layer and expose the aggregate. Instead, start fine and work your way toward a more suitable grit.
The aggregate look is not for everyone and it should be made clear at the beginning what the customer is after. If it’s the marble look then the aggregates are a big failure and there will be complaints.
A good service would fix that, but it’s like doing double the work where one time would have been enough.
Choose your grit wisely
Another tip that heavily relates to the previous one is to pay very close attention to the process. Once you have changed the diamond grit pad on your machine, you must pay careful attention and watch for two things.
First, you must make sure that this particular grit is the right one for the area. This will save much time and energy. Secondly, you must watch to ensure that you do not suddenly need to change the grit.
This can happen–sometimes one part of the concrete will need to be polished with one size and another part with another size. Keep your eyes peeled to ensure that you polish using the best grit for your floor.
Keep your customers up to date
If you are a concrete polishing company, it is absolutely vital to keep your customers in the process. Allow them to see the various stages of the project so that they have a more realistic idea of what the project will look like as it progresses.
This will help prevent the shock or end disapproval if the clients were expecting something different. They will have seen the project evolve and thus will be better prepared for the end product.
There is also the cost. It is much easier to show what the final bill is about if the customers have been with you during the process. Most of the time the people you work for have no idea what needs to be done to have the end result.
Get customers involved in picking up color
Another important tip that relates heavily to customer satisfaction is to always make sure that the customer approves the general color instead of the exact color of the stain. Different concretes react differently with the stains, making no two similar.
Another option is to do small sample stains on the floor, complete with polishing, staining, and finishing so that the customer knows the exact color they will be getting.
This is connected to the previous part. The more you involve the customers, the less you should have to fight for later if the end result isn’t what they have expected.
If you’ve had problem with difficult customers before, give this a try if you haven’t already. You might notice that even the most difficult people can get more mellow when they are involved in the process and listened.
This can be also a double-edged sword as when you involve people in the process, the ones with a hard time making decisions might make you more work. This is why it’s good for all of this to be a process so you won’t end up making little changes all the time.
These tips are designed to help you serve both yourself and the customer. Everything boils down to being careful and mindful of the entire process and ensuring that you are keeping the customers aware as well.
Both careful watchfulness and customer support throughout the entire process are vital to your success as a concrete polishing company. Remember that sometimes it’s just better to take a small loss than leave a bitter customer behind.
The most difficult customers I remember are the ones who didn’t quite understand what they were buying. The process was strange to them and as expectations didn’t meet, they were unsatisfied with the results.
Those times all that could be done was meeting them halfway and have some parts fixed that were not in the deal. All of that could have been avoided with better involvement.
Here is an article about concrete finishing tools if you’re interested. Some of them might be handy to own.