The Importance of Customer Service in the Construction Industry
Contractors need customer service. The construction industry is unique because it provides a service that ultimately results in a physical product. Yet, with project managers, consultants, and architects (just to name a few of the service providers involved), customer service becomes a central focus for success. There's nothing like an uncompleted job or a job that isn’t adhering to the schedule. These show the clear need for the communication foundation of customer service. Customer service helps minimize conflict and helps construction industry professionals become more solution focused when conflicts arise.
What Exactly Does Customer Service Look Like in the Construction Industry?
Customer service means to go above and beyond expectations. With customer service, we think about how a business interacts with their clients. Customer service principles are also valuable when it comes to how professionals with various focuses work on the same project. One of the best customer service principles is to commit to something and over-deliver on it. In construction, paying attention to customer requests, no matter how big or small, is crucial. A low priority to you may be a high priority to a client. It is imperative that you are on the same page with your clients and with the other professionals who are working on the project.
How to Provide Excellent Customer Service to Construction Clients
- Respect, kindness, and courtesy - Of all the qualities found in customer service, respect and kindness must be used when a client or another professional comes to you with a concern or question. No one likes to be blown off or, even worse, talked to in a condescending tone. Have courtesy for the thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs of the other person.
- A listening ear - Keep the conversation open about the project and listen to what the other person needs to say. Do not consider your response while the other person is talking. You could miss something important. Active listening is a key part of customer service.
- Be a problem solver - If a client or another professional has a problem or concern, first listen then address it. You may say, "I hear your worry about _________, but it won't happen and this is the reason..." or "I see you want to add ___________ to the project list. Here are the ways we can go about it..."
- Define your projects - Set a completion date and go over the fine details of the project with your team and your client. Estimate the costs involved to the client. Let the client or the other professionals know of any problems the project may have in the future. If you make promises, strive to keep them. Don't be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions gets you the information you need to properly define the project.
- Ask if they need anything else done - Sometimes you may come for one job and a client may have several jobs you could do. A simple, "I'm glad we could help you with __________. Is there anything else we could do for you?" will suffice. Not only will this enhance your gain, your customer will feel like you care for them.
- Give them something for free - Free services make clients feel appreciated. Everyone likes to feel appreciated and receive something for free. Casually mention that you included something for free and it’s a safe bet your client will be thrilled. Give your client your best and make them feel like they chose the best contractor for the job.
Customer service opens the door to many benefits. When your client feels respected, they will tell their friends and family. Their referrals could mean more business for you. You'll rise above the competition in your area when your reputation proceeds you for your customer service.
With all these benefits, is it any surprise that customer service is a win/win?
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