As competition within the construction industry continues to grow, developing a loyal customer base proves to be of utmost importance for businesses. Due to the nature of the industry and the fact that most competitors are equally as qualified and share similar pricing strategies, it is important to find other ways to differentiate your business from the rest.
The “ultimate” goal of most, if not all, construction firms is to be the first business that comes to mind whenever a project arises. As easy as that may sound, building trust and maintaining a positive client relationship does not come easily and often takes time to develop. However, the benefits of what is more formally referred to as “relationship marketing”, far exceed the costs associated with building and maintaining these mutually beneficial client relationships.
The following are a list of useful tips that can help construction firms develop and maintain a loyal customer base. While these tips may be presented specifically for firms within the construction industry, these ideas and principles can be applied to a whole host of businesses.
Make Your Client a Priority
Make sure to spend time face-to-face with your clients at least a third of the time. Whether that be in a more formal setting such as a sit-down meeting or in a relaxed environment such as attending sporting events or going out to lunch. It is important to get to know your clients on more of a personal level so that you can better serve their needs. Making them feel as though they are important can go a long way.
As the reciprocity norm suggests, people are more inclined to help those that have helped them. Look for ways to help your clients. It can be useful to do some preliminary research before meeting with your customer to find out what needs they are looking to have met and subsequently prepare how your business is equipped to satisfy those needs. Clearly communicating your firm’s qualifications is important for landing any job.
Maintain Constant Contact with Your Clients
Regularly communicating with your clients is key. Aside from face-to-face meetings, your firm should be constantly phoning or emailing about project updates, any issues with the project, and simply to gauge the satisfaction of your client with your firm’s work. The construction industry is filled with strict deadlines and the pressures of completing projects which can quickly get in the way of maintaining constant contact with your clients. Do not let your firm fall victim to this trap!
Track Your Business Relationships
Make a list of your firm’s most recent customers, for example, your firm’s repeat customers, old customers, one-time customers, target customers, etc. Rank your experience with each customer and decide the potential for them to become loyal customers. Doing this will help your firm to prioritize which customers to spend the most time with. Meet with these clients more regularly, take note of every time you meet with them, what you talk about, and any potential business opportunities.
Care About Their Business
Ultimately, customers want to know that you truly care about their business and what they do. Become an advocate of their business! Listen and take in as much information as you can; that includes any information that may not seem pertinent to the job such as a recent vacation or hobby that your client shares an interest in.
Here at Chris-Tel Construction we are committed to our customers. We believe in establishing and engaging in long-term relationships with not only out clients, but with our employees, subcontractors and our community. We pride ourselves on our principles of integrity, dedication, and passion!