For many in the construction industry, the primary focus associated with a customer base is on finding and attracting new customers. Although this is certainly an important aspect of running a successful business, many construction leaders fail to place any emphasis on another valuable client base: loyal, repeat customers.
In today’s fast-paced business climate, a positive brand image and regular customer engagement aren’t just for restaurants and department stores. Rather, cultivating a reputation as a quality brand has become more important than ever. It is no longer enough for construction companies to spend time and effort doing quality work, and then to forget the venture, simploy allowing that work to speak for itself. Nowadays it’s imperative to invest in post-project efforts as well as efforts to develop positive and long-lasting relationships with customers even after the job is done.
Offer Ongoing Support
Today, the idea of post-sales management is taking off in many high-level construction companies. Post-sales management simply means checking back with customers one week, one month, or one year after a job is complete to make sure everything is still running as it should be. If not, it means taking the time to go in and fix the problem even if it leads to a loss for the company.
Many customers have come to expect this ongoing support from the companies they do business with and construction is no exception. Getting ahead of the curve and providing customer support early and often can make a big difference in your company’s overall reputation. As we all well know, reputation is everything in the world of construction and contracting.
There are a handful of ways to tackle beefing up your customer support including things like offering product warranties or hiring a repairs technician. Extending service into the post-construction period may help your business expand by offering new products, upgrades, and add-ons. Don’t let price be the only differentiation between your company and every other construction business out there. Rather, invest in ongoing support and quality customer service to set you apart.
Focus on Relationships
Aside from customer support, another important aspect to focus on is the development of long-term relationships with customers. Maintaining a relationship is way cheaper for businesses than forging a new one and loyal customers are far more likely to spread a positive message about your company. When you consider that over 60% of marketing executives believe word of mouth is the most effective form of marketing and that 20-80% of purchasing decisions are influenced by word of mouth, the value of building strong, lasting business relationships becomes clear.
Fortunately, keeping in touch and building that lasting relationship doesn’t necessarily have to be a huge strain on the company. Small things like sending thank you notes to customers can go a long way towards cementing a positive relationship. Simple notes keep your brand’s name in the customer’s mind long after the work is complete.
Another valuable strategy is to ask for customer feedback in an attempt to obtain the Voice of the Customer (VoC). Whether it is good or bad, asking for the feedback gives customers a means of constructively engaging in your business and feeling as though their voice has been heard which can prompt greater feelings of investment in your company. Additionally, feedback can be acted upon to improve your customer service and overall company value over time.
Extending relationships beyond the implementation phase in construction is setting some of the very best construction companies apart. Strategies such as offering ongoing customer support and putting in the effort to develop and maintain relationships are both great ways to do just that.