Customer service could be the difference between your landing a contract and then retaining a client over a long period of time, and the sad fate of losing business to a competitor. In fact, world-renowned research firm Genesys found that U.S. businesses lose an estimated $83 billion per year due to poor customer service. Despite its importance, customer service isn’t discussed as often in construction as it is in other industries.
No matter if you run a well-established construction business or an up-and-coming one, giving your clients prompt, reliable and helpful customer service is critical to your success. Here are six ways to enhance your construction company’s customer service in the coming year.
1. Be accessible across a variety of channels.
All of the online platforms that are available in today’s market have reshaped the way customers interact with brands. As a result, these communications have also shaped what customers expect from the businesses that serve them. Today, many consumers have grown to expect companies to meet them where they’re at—whether they feel more comfortable communicating over email, phone, Facebook Messenger or another channel. This certainly doesn’t mean you should bend and break to your clients’ every demand, but it does provide an opportunity to wow customers by noting their preferences and prioritizing their convenience.
Lastly, by leveraging a tool like Zendesk or Zoho, you can put your customer service reps in a position to win by automating the most tedious parts of the process, speeding up client communication and streamlining email back-and-forth.
2. Call customers by their first name.
Research shows that people’s positive brain activity goes through the roof when their first name is called. On top of that, 70% of modern-day customers now expect a personalized customer experience. This might be part and parcel of the much larger trend of increased consumer entitlement best exemplified by the “Starbucks effect”, where customers now seem to expect a level of no-questions-asked service where brands cater to a customer’s every demand.
All this points to how important it is to call clients by their name when corresponding with them at your construction business. Even when juggling multiple clients, taking the time to learn their names will help develop positive rapport and set you apart from competitors.
Gaining the confidence of a client by putting your company’s competence on full display is an important part of successful customer service.
3. Brand all your materials and documents.
Gaining the confidence of a client by putting your company’s competence on full display is an important part of successful customer service. One easy way to ensure your brand comes off as professional and organized is by branding all your materials and documents with company logos, color palettes and fonts. This will illustrate the attention to detail your company puts into practice. An organization that is attentive to the smallest of details will surely do the same when handling larger ones, customers will reason.
4. Create a positive company culture.
Company culture is contagious. By creating a culture that is attentive, helpful and responsive throughout all levels of your organization, customer service will naturally become high-quality as a result. With a warm, welcoming work environment your employees are excited to come to day after day, that positivity will permeate your reps’ and workers’ interactions with customers and even their approach to their responsibilities.
It’s always better to over-communicate than under-communicate with clients, especially in an industry as high-risk and deadline-driven as construction. According to KPMG, only one-quarter of construction projects come within 10% of their originally proposed deadline, and a mere 31% come within 10% of their initial budget.
While many factors at play for the missed projections are out of a contractor’s control, it’s clear that missing deadlines and going over budget is a common occurrence throughout the space. To stand out from the crowd, be sure to let clients and other stakeholders know if there is even a possibility of a project going over budget or missing a deadline—thereby helping to foster trust between your company and the client.
It’s always better to over-communicate than under-communicate with clients, especially in an industry as high-risk and deadline-driven as construction.
6. Stay up-to-date on compliance and safety measures.
Clients in construction want to know the company they hire for a project is trustworthy, puts safety first and won’t have any run-ins with the law. By ensuring your company is up-to-date on all requirements related to compliance and ahead of the curve in terms of safety measures, you’ll increase customer confidence. To do this, you can start by hosting toolbox talks on a regular basis to go over safety measures to decrease the risk of injuries across your various job sites. You can also stay current and certified on all things OSHA compliance by checking out courses offered by online platforms like BirdDogHR. Through the service, you can select and purchase a variety of OSHA safety training courses to fit your organization’s particular needs—from aerial lift instruction to HazMat training.