Regardless of the size or industry type, companies universally depend on consumers for direct business, referrals, feedback, and overall success. Customer service is imperative to businesses trying to obtain, or maintain, a loyal consumer base. When people think of the construction industry, however, customer service isn’t a primary characteristic that comes to mind.
Be it a new home, corporate building, or renovation, construction projects are managed by both the builders and the clients and are thus prone to tenuous relationships if ideas clash and setbacks occur. Client satisfaction and the feedback they share with others can make or break a construction company, and every contractor knows that client satisfaction is the backbone of company growth.
Here, we will discuss how a construction business can handle unsatisfied customers, along with strategies they can implement to enhance and maintain top-notch quality service.
Defining Quality Service
Quality customer service is, at its core, exceeding the expectations of a client. In the construction industry, it is vital for contractors to appoint their attention foremost to their client’s requests, despite any objective opinions. The desires and ideas of a client may not match your own, but listening, understanding and delivering in correlation with them can determine how a client perceives your business’s service skills, and your competency as a construction company as a whole.
In a competitive market, construction companies must have the experience and skillset to build efficiently and finish with quality. But consider what makes one firm stand far above its competitors? It probably boils down to excellent customer service.
Informing and helping your clients make the best choices, while still attending to their needs, will boost your business revenue and reputation much more than perceived high prices will. Because your employees work with a wide range of consumer personalities, it is imperative that you hire and retain not only the top talent but those that show patience, guidance, and consideration towards clients. They will be the voice of your company.
Customer Service Tips
Understand that every clients’ style, requests and visions are going to differ. From project to project, don’t hold the same expectations across the board; your customers will be innately different, and that will reflect in their project suppositions and requirements. Therefore, flexibility is a must.
If your business has a customer care department, consider implementing the policies and practices throughout the entirety of your organization. Remember, customer services is not a one-size-fits-all approach; regimented protocols could be detrimental to your business. A flexible customer service approach will bolster your company’s reputation and ultimately increase your client list.
Cater To Your Customers
By catering and remaining in contact with your prospect and customer base, your business will provide a greater sense of personalization. Many customers calling a business for information or services do not want to be answered by an automated message or be put on hold. Customer service starts before the project does, with a business’s initial approach to communication.
After a client gives you their ideas, evaluate them and return a thorough, prospective guideline of what they can expect from you. Budgets, timelines, project details, and reasonings should all be included. Because customers are putting the construction and quality of their business or home in your hands, returning personalized care through timely and thoughtful communication is necessary to build a trustful, mutual relationship.
Problems are unpredictable, but unfortunately a normalcy in the construction industry. Be it poor weather conditions, a lack of material, or a simple misunderstanding, don’t wait for your clients to address such problems; communicate to your team and customer the second you notice them. Never wait, hide, or sugar coat a problem, no matter the extremity; honesty is invaluable to your business’s customer service reputation.
After addressing a problem, have a solution on hand, and explain to your client how your team plans to fix it. Turning a negative situation into a positive and timely corrective action/actions can help gain your client’s trust and reduce their anxiety.
When your construction company receives a review or customer feedback, always respond back to their comments. By responding to their email, or incorporating their critiques into your next project, it shows that you value their opinions and can greatly benefit your company/client relationships and referrals.
Once a job is completed, customer service can continue. If a client just settled into their custom home, don’t hesitate to check in and ask “how the family likes the layout,” or “if they’ve used the deck yet” and their “thoughts on the kitchen backsplash.” Showing you care about your customer experience after finishing a project will show you care about your quality of work, and will also lead to more referrals, and future work (i.e. a basement remodel).
Customer service revolves around building relationships and consumer trust. By founding your construction company on pleasant, quality, customer experiences, you can enhance your business’s growth rate and reputation.
Communication and collaboration are vital to achieving excellent customer service. By integrating the tips above throughout the entirety of your company, and with every project/client you work with, success and brand awareness will undoubtedly follow.