The construction industry is incredibly fluid and fast-moving which can harm construction client relationships. With progress made every day, and roadblocks appearing out of nowhere, construction jobs are in a constant state of change. What often happens however, is the flow of information between developers and their clients becomes neglected. Strained relationships can be reversed by enacting these five simple steps. Whether you are a general contractor, project manager or service manager, these tips will benefit you. These approaches are applicable to commercial, industrial and residential construction companies and can be implemented immediately. This article uncovers the simple, yet powerful steps you can use to build long-lasting relationships, gather referrals and ultimately gain more jobs.
1. Establish Your Method of Communication
The first and arguably the easiest step in this process is deciding on what mode of communication best works for you. As a busy construction professional, you may prefer a specific type of contact, such as phone calls, e-mails or a particular software you are using. This decision needs to be made clear to your customers right away to ensure you are both on the same page. By doing this, you will be far more organized, thus allowing your business to take on even more clients.
Additionally, for larger companies working on industrial or commercial projects, pair up a customer with a primary contact to make sure that both parties’ lines of communication are always clear and reliable. With many customers finding frustration in getting a hold of a contractor, this method eliminates this problem and more importantly, ensures both parties will remain accountable.
2. Keep it Clear, Concise and Straight to the Point
Once your communication lines are set up, the next step addresses how you communicate. Although it may sound incredibly simple, using clear and concise language can improve customer communication drastically. This does not mean using minimal words and short messages, it simply means being specific about what you are addressing. Whether you are writing an e-mail or leaving a voicemail, keeping your message simple and straightforward will make your professional relationship more efficient.
Additionally, using language that is simple and understandable is also key. If you are dealing with customers who are unfamiliar with the construction industry, avoid using jargon and terminology that is specific to construction. Use basic terms and words that will be understood by everyone, and if a certain complex term is used, take the time to fully explain this to your client. This will greatly reduce misunderstandings and will give your customer confidence in the job you are doing.
3. Utilize Technology to Your Advantage
The next step in improving your customer’s overall experience is the utilization of technology. In today’s technology-saturated world, it is easier than ever to find apps, software and programs that can aid in the communication process. These vary from short video clips of your company’s previous work, or even videos and pictures that capture the progress of a current project. Another great tip would be to take pictures to track progress and show before and after images. These not only will interest and excite your customers, but also give them a better idea of the overall scale of the project.
Many construction companies have modernized their operational practices, but technology provides a gateway into countless communication tools and strategies that can better relay information to customers. Additionally, social media can be used to further enhance your client relationship, allowing you to connect with them on a more personal level, as well as address all customers as a group.
4. Keep Them in the Loop
All of the strategies discussed so far aid in our next step. Selecting your primary communication channel along with augmenting the customer experience with technology provides your company with the ability to keep clients in the loop. During a long construction process, delays or setbacks are often no surprise. The key to providing the best customer service lies in consistent communication and frequent updates. In all likelihood, if a construction company has followed our first three steps, they have already built a strong client relationship. Continuing to develop this relationship only helps to maintain trust from your customers. Also, constant updates shows your clients that you are committed to their projects.
Another dimension to this step is understanding your clients. Some customers prefer daily updates, while others prefer monthly chats. It is up to you to find out what method your customers prefer, and to remain consistent with this schedule throughout the construction process.
5. Grow Your Business
If you have followed the first four steps, the fifth and final step comes naturally. Effectively communicating with current clients can only help your company grow its customer base. This dedication to customer service will increase your number of referrals and prospects. Furthermore, these long-lasting relationships you have developed throughout the course of a given job can lead to future projects from the same client. When dealing with potential customers, continue to personalize e-mails and phone calls, and treat your prospects with the same dedication and commitment as your clients. Whether you are a small construction company or largescale commercial developer, apply these principles and watch your customer base grow. Click the link for more tips and construction strategies.