Trust and integrity are much more important to customers when choosing a contractor than the price of the bid, according to a nationwide study recently released by Intuit Construction Business Solutions. These qualities are especially important to residential customers; 43 percent of them cited trust as the No. 1 reason they selected a particular construction firm. In addition, more than 80 percent of respondents cited personality and professionalism as significant factors in selecting a contractor.

“These qualities, along with trade skill sets, contribute to a contractor's reputation and can mean the difference between success and failure when dealing with customers,” the study noted.

Other results include:

  • More than 75 percent favored word-of-mouth recommendations over telephone directory and Web research.

  • 94 percent of businesses would recommend their construction firms.

  • 84 percent of homeowners would recommend their contractors.

  • 56 percent of residential and 40 percent of commercial customers cited job quality as their primary reason for dissatisfaction, followed by low productivity and efficiency.

  • Both groups believe contractors need to do a better job of communicating; 41 percent of commercial businesses wanted more clarity and promptness in communications with their contractors.

The study, conducted by independent research firm Decipher, surveyed more than 500 customers of commercial and residential construction firms.