Clients and Customers WOM series
In this final installment of the word of mouth series, the topic is clients and customers.
You can see the other posts here:
Neighbors, Friends, and Family
Professional and Personal Groups or Associations
Your word of mouth strategy should include all the above groups, but it is your clients or customers who are likely to provide the most meaningful information to your future or potential clients.
It just makes sense.
If your hairdresser mentions that she lives next door to a nice guy who makes excellent briefcases (and if you’re in the market for a superb briefcase,) you might listen. But if your construction contractor colleague shows up at a meeting with a wonderfully made leather briefcase and describes all the bells and whistles, you’re more likely to ask for the correct contact information.
Satisfied (better yet, dazzled) clients and customers are the best word of mouth ambassadors around. You always hit paydirt when delighted past and present clients or customers spread the word for you.
Focus on Relationship
Realize that business relationships take time to develop. It’s an investment. The good part is that, like other investments, it compounds over time.
When your focus is on what your client needs, you help her get more from your service. For example, your client comes to you with a perceived need or a desire; you have many options in response.
Do what your client asks of you.
If you can’t fulfill the need, you should be ready to recommend someone who can.
You develop a new method or a new department to meet the need.
Because you’re the expert, you help your client see that their perceived need is amiss and show them how to accomplish what they desire in a way you can deliver.
In every instance, it is your client’s perceived need that you take time to meet.
Go Above and Beyond
Start with the soft skills like having knowledgeable, polite, and friendly staff involved at every touchpoint.
Be sure the office, the vehicles, and all job sites are clean and organized.
Communicate clearly and often.
Educate your team to listen for important information to be included in your CRM system or give the correct team member information that needs to be dealt with quickly. Some examples may include:
Your client is attending her son’s birthday party on a particular date.
Another client talks a great deal about his love for a particular spectator sport.
One of your clients is attending the memorial service for a family member.
Fix Mistakes Fast
Be ever vigilant concerning mistakes. You and your client know mistakes are going to happen. The most important thing is to address them quickly and honestly. Let your customer know you’ve corrected the error.
From quality and productivity to delays and overspending, there are multiple ways a construction project can go south. Using your company’s history and knowledge of the present construction climate, assess possible problems and seek ways to proactively deal with them on a job by job and day by day basis. Communicating with your clients about potential delays or other conceivable obstacles is among the ways to keep them happy with your expertise.
Educate Your Clients
Bring those involved in a project together to see what is going on and why. You can use an up-close and personal approach or the technological tools at your disposal. A couple of examples to consider are:
The building owner doesn’t speak constructionese but will be happy to hear in layman’s terms how his project is different, better, or whatever because of a technique you’re incorporating into his build.
The GC speaks your language, but his needs are different. Let him know about upcoming projects you’ve heard of or pass on the latest info about a product that might be of interest to him.
Learn from Your Clients
Make sure that you acknowledge your customers’ comments and ideas. Whenever possible, take action right away; for instance, improve your service, your communication path, or your system. Then remember to let your client know about any changes you’ve made.
Refer Your Clients
One way to give referrals is to reach out to businesses whose products or services complement yours and work out a referral arrangement.
More importantly, finding ways to refer your clients to others in your network (personal or business) is one crucial way to prove you care about your client’s wellbeing. This article from the New York Society of Association Executives is a simple guide to giving meaningful referrals.
One of the essential steps listed in the article is using the phrase, “I know someone who can get that done.” Being able to aid your clients in unexpected ways includes being constantly on the lookout for ways to refer their goods or services to others.
Ask for a Favor
In general, people like being able to help others. And there is an interesting concept that comes with asking others for a simple favor; they become more invested in seeing you succeed.
It takes guts because asking for a favor is a sign of intimacy and trust. And depending on the favor you ask, you show at what level you’re willing to be indebted to someone else.
The basic principle is that by offering people a way to give their support, you cause them to have good feelings about themselves. Keep it simple. Here are some examples:
Ask for a recommendation for (a good restaurant, an excellent dentist, or a quality supplier.)
Ask for help in solving a small short-term problem (like a lost tool, a flat tire, a transportation flub.)
Ask for a referral or a testimonial.
Remember, the people you ask will be especially likely to feel good when you genuinely show your appreciation.
There are multiple ways to show your gratitude to your clients and customers. Of course, you’re grateful for the business you receive from them. You can also include within your gratefulness list the information or favor they provided you, the referrals they gave, and the time they entrusted to you in conversation or other ways.
Showing your gratitude can take many avenues, from a verbal thank you to a handwritten note, from an end-of-job joint celebration to an evening out for dinner, from a small hand-delivered gift to a billboard ad. Don’t forget that one of the most important ways you can show your gratitude is through continued referrals.
Word of Mouth at its Finest
Getting clients enthusiastic about your construction business requires superior service, a solid reputation, and an extraordinary amount of communication. Once they’re excited, the next step is – you guessed it – telling others about what you do and how well you do it – word of mouth at its finest. BTW, don’t forget to ask.
Working with The Profit Constructors gives Construction Contractors the means to organize their operations in ways that help them:
Ready for action? Or want to know more? Get in touch today to schedule a complimentary discovery call. 866-629-7735