If you run a construction business and want to get the most from your projects, putting the customers first is vital.
You must learn the unique needs and budget of each customer you serve to earn repeat business and positive referrals. Keeping your clients informed and happy throughout the construction project is another vital piece of the puzzle you can never ignore. Clients want to know when you will complete the project and what to expect along the way.
Handling customer concerns and complaints the right way makes the difference between success and failure over the long run, so you need a proven strategy in place to resolve problems your clients have. Taking these steps and tracking the status of each client is not always a simple or easy task. The good news is that you can use our customer relationship management, or CRM, software to do the job right the first time.
We designed our CRM software to let you analyze every stage of your project so that you can use a custom approach depending on the needs and personality of the customer you are serving. With this strategy, you can earn plenty of repeat business and positive referrals that keep your business on track.
Why Our CRM Solution Matters to Your Contracting Business
How will our client relationship management solution play a vital part in your business success?
No matter how good you are or how professional your crew might be, your profitability depends on the satisfaction of your clients. Some clients care as much about their experience as the results of your work.
In other words, providing a positive customer experience is as important as the finished product.
In a survey, 86% of people said they are willing to pay more for a service if the company offers a positive client experience. Also, 1 in 3 loyal customers will go to the competition if they have one bad experience with you or your customer service team.
Customer experience is about much more than the quality of the construction project. Client experience involves everything the client sees and hears from the first time they learn about your business until the end of the project. Providing a positive customer experience starts with marketing and lead generation, and it also includes the type of customer service you offer.
The way your crew interacts with your clients is another vital piece of the puzzle if you care about your long-term results. Our CRM software for contractors empowers you to control each part of the problem so that you can get the best results possible.
Lead generation is often the first time you introduce your construction company to possible prospects.
Different construction companies have various methods for generating leads, and you must find one that works well for you and your bottom line. In most cases, you begin by offering free information or resources to your prospects and asking for their contact information.
You can save time by using our business management software because it automatically generates leads for you online. For example, you could have a website that lets your prospects enter the details of their construction project. Our business management software will offer to send an email containing their quote, turning a possibility into a lead. You can also provide project discounts or digital products in exchange for contact information.
Use your client relationship management software to store your leads so that you can reach out to them again in the future. Leads are a list of people who have already shown interest in your construction services, so they will be much easier to convert than other prospects.
You can increase the attention of your leads by sending valuable information or by showing them what makes your construction company stand apart from the rest. The right business management software helps with this step and boosts your overall effectiveness.
Once you have a list of qualified leads, you are ready to begin marketing your construction services to them.
Our business management software will help you track the budget, desired timeline, and exact needs of each client so that you can craft a unique marketing message that gets results.
Do some research to discover what digital platforms your leads use the most, and you will be off to a great start. You can even experiment with different media outlets until you uncover one that works best for your business.
Record the results of your study with your business management software to get a clear picture of where you should begin.
Some businesses automate each part of the sales process, but you want to take a more personal approach in the construction industry.
Once you have interested leads, get them on the phone or in your office. You want to meet with them in person to explain the benefits of your construction service and why they should pick you instead of going with the competition. Remember that each customer you get has unique needs, so you will have to approach each customer with a different strategy.
For example, some customers want you to finish the project as quickly as possible so that they do not have to experience too much downtime. Others will not care how long it takes as long as you provide high-quality results they can trust. Throughout the marketing process, use our business management software to learn about your clients and what matters to them more than anything else.
You can then reference our software before the sales meeting to learn what approach makes sense for the client. Also, bringing up needs the client mentioned in the early parts of the sales process shows you care enough to pay attention to the details, and clients will notice.
Bring the notes you generated with our business management software to your initial consultation with your client. This information allows you to engage the client in a way that improves your odds of closing the sale, and the client will have an enjoyable experience.
It is also essential you take notes during the meeting and record the things your client likes and does not like. You talk about pricing and your client’s budget during this stage, and addressing any issues that come up is crucial if you want to move forward without unneeded complications.
Ask whether the client has a specific day they would like you to begin working on the construction project. You can use 2our business management software to review your schedule and check crew availability. Before moving forward, go over each part of the process so that your client knows what to expect.
Managing expectations from the start is critical if you do not want to disappoint your client down the road. Some companies exaggerate their abilities to earn the contract, but that is not always the smart move. Doing so gets you the deal but upsets your client over the long term. Instead, it is better to sell yourself a little short and then surprise your client with outstanding quality when you complete the project.
Setting and Managing Expectations
Setting expectations is a vital part of client relationship management.
You want your client to know what to expect and what not to expect with the construction project. Some clients expect projects to finish much sooner than they do, or they assume that a project will move forward without any problems coming up along the way. Setting client expectations is easy when you follow the right steps and keep the entire project in mind while doing so.
Let your client know when you plan to start and finish the project. You should also tell your client that those dates are estimates and that you can offer no guarantees on when you will complete the project. Explain that unexpected events can come up and impact the completion date or other factors related to the project, and your client will be much more understanding if things do not go according to plan.
Ask your client if they have questions related to the project or if they need anything else before you begin. Rather than pressuring the client to sign the contract, give your client room to make their own choice. You might lose a few clients with that approach. But the ones you keep are sure that they want you to work on the project, so you can expect fewer problems moving forward. Letting your client know when and how you want them to pay is another essential step.
Let your client know if you want all the payment upfront or if you accept payments based on milestones. Log your start and end date on our business management software.
Some contractors overlook the importance of accounting when it comes to client relationship management.
Accounting is a critical part of the puzzle for you and the client, so use our CRM software because it has construction accounting software. It generates invoices and lists due dates for payments. It should send you and the client alerts when payments are due and notify you if clients are late or miss payments.
If you use our proven construction accounting software, it logs all your expenses and income sources so that you can easily calculate your profitability. This feature saves you time and energy, allowing you to focus on other areas of your construction business. In addition to providing you with all those other fantastic benefits, our software solution saves your transaction history and helps prepare tax documents.
Milestones and Reporting
Use our solution to track and report milestone status.
Milestones are essential on more extensive projects because they make it easy for you to show the client how much progress you are making. It also helps you establish justification for your billing methods. For example, you can show your clients how much overhead you have for each milestone you must complete.
You can charge at least enough to cover your overhead for the milestones you are going to pass, and showing the client your data improves their odds of accepting the contract. You can also add a little to each occasion so that you can profit at each stage of the project. Depending on the terms of your agreement, you wait until the client submits payments for completed milestones before you move to the next phase of the project.
Our CRM software for contractors is a valuable tool for monitoring and tracking milestones. You can list the project scope and include details of each aspect of your project. It also generates milestone reports and emails them to you and your client, allowing you to stay always updated on your crew’s progress.
Addressing Complaints and Concerns
Addressing complaints and client concerns play a significant role in the future of your construction business.
If you go about this step the wrong way, you could lose clients and face damage to your reputation. Make sure you follow a proven plan and listen to what your clients say if you want them to offer repeat business in the future. You can turn many unhappy clients into repeat business if you understand and address their concerns, and your bottom line will enjoy the rewards.
Listen and Validate the Customer’s Feelings
When clients first come to you with a concern or complaint, they want you first to listen before you do anything else. You should tune in even when you believe you know what the client is going to say. In some cases, you could be wrong and miss important information you could have used to solve the problem and make the client happy. Record all complaints and solutions in our CRM software under the client’s profile.
After listening to the client, remember to remain honest throughout the resolution process. Letting the client know you were wrong goes a long way to rebuild trust and change the situation in a more positive direction. In addition to admitting when you are wrong, let the client know what you plan to do to prevent similar problems from happening in the future. Always avoid language that blames the client even when you are not at fault for the problem the client is having.
Explore the Most Likely Cause of the Problem
Once you have spoken with the client, get to work finding what went wrong, and how to fix it. In some situations, you can move on to the next milestone while your troubleshooting team addresses the problem. But some jobs require you to solve the issue before the project can move forward.
Address the Problem
Once you discover the solution, fix the problem as quickly as you can without compromising quality.
Always pick quality over speed if you must choose between them. Do your best to resolve the issue and move forward to the next stage of your project without unneeded setbacks. If you or your team were indeed at fault for the problem, find a way to make it up to your client to show you care. Log the problem and the solution in your CRM software to prevent the same issues from happening again.
Follow up With the Customer
Finding and fixing the problem is where most construction companies stop. They believe that correcting the problems means they no longer need to worry about them, and you can use their behavior to your advantage. Since most people walk away after solving the problem, you can stand apart from the rest by following up with the client to make sure they are happy with the solution. Try calling the client on the phone instead of sending an email if you want to get the most from this tip.
Create a Complete Customer Profile
After you complete a project for a client, create a client profile in our CRM software. List the personality of your client, plus the things for which they look during a project. Does this client have any special requirements that do not usually come up? You should also consider any unique needs each client has in your customer profile so that you can better serve that client in the future.
Balance Automation and Personalization
You can turn to automation once you understand our CRM software and all its features.
Look at email marketing for a great example of how this works. Email marketing can integrate features from our CRM to track where a client is in the buying process. For instance, it can place clients in different categories based on the way they respond to emails and whether they have already accepted a contract for your services.
Our automation software can offer discounts to people who did not buy after you made the initial offer. But you must always balance automation with personalization. In other words, you still want to contact clients in person and send customized messages based on their needs and situation.
How SitePod Can Help
SitePod is an all-in-one CRM solution that takes your results to a whole new level.
With this software package, you can reach your goals and keep your clients happy each step of the way. It comes with everything you need in one package that lets you perform many tasks from a single location. This platform even features construction accounting software so that you can track invoices and tax records without needing to buy additional software packages.
You can track the progress of each project and communicate with your crew to pass on updates and other critical project data. Also, we enable you to create portals that let your clients view project details and request customer service at the push of a button, which improves their experience and boosts your results.
Putting the customer first is the most critical step if you want your construction business to last over the long run.
Many people think providing high-quality service is the only move they must make, but it is not. You also must focus on delivering a positive client experience to each person who enlists your services. The right CRM software lets you reach that goal in no time.
If you would like to learn more about how CRM software can benefit your bottom line, contact SitePod right away.