The Value of Building Long-Term Client-Contractor Relationships in Construction
If your construction firm has been in business for a while, you have probably recognized how difficult it can be to win new customers. You can invest a lot of time and money into marketing to consumers and bidding on new projects, only to get a handful of customers. And when a new customer completes a purchase, there is no guarantee they will be back. Ultimately, the question everything comes down to is why should customers choose your company over the countless options in the construction industry?
The part of your customer base who regularly hires you for ongoing construction work could be the biggest asset your company has. By adjusting your efforts so that you nurture your existing customers, on top of targeting new prospects, you could enjoy far greater profitability. Discover five ways you can ensure your company builds value through cultivating long-term customer relationships.
1. Engage Them
Long-term customers generally do far more than buy a company’s construction services. They connect with the business itself, which incentivizes them to keep coming back. Through your website content, email marketing, and social media posts, make sure you are engaging your audience and increasing their personal connection.
Construction ERP softwares with built-in CRM services like Sage Intacct and Acumatica help businesses personalize their interactions with customers. With the right tools in place, you can gather data on your customers and similar customers, so that you can adjust the project costs, timelines, and expectations to their liking. This nurtures a unique one-on-one relationship between your customer and your company.
2. Gather Data on Your Customers
In order to better serve your customers, you need to know as much as possible about their behaviour, needs, expectations, and underlying reasons for pursuing a new construction project. Free analytics tools such as Google Analytics can help you easily gather data on your website visitors, including demographics, behaviour, geography, referral source, and more.
To advance your understanding of your audience behaviour and make website optimizations, consider Zoho CRM, which offers a heat-mapping solution that shows which areas of a website are getting the most attention. If certain buttons or pages get more clicks than others, you can start to realize that your current audience is more interested in certain services you offer, as opposed to others. You can then make strategic decisions on if you want to specialize on those particular services or dedicate more effort into marketing your other services.
3. Analyze Social Media Influence
When it comes to getting the word out about your company, not all customers are equal. Some will have a large online following, while others will have little or no social media presence. Nurturing relationships with your more engaged customers can pay off if they are convinced to engage with you online through comments, shares, likes, and mentions in their posts. If you notice a particular customer is very active on social media, it would be wise to politely encourage them to post about you or even pursue a joint campaign with them.
4. Make Them Feel Special
No customer wants to feel as though they are just a number, especially when it comes to large-scale construction jobs. As your business grows, it can become more and more difficult to know each person. In your CRM database, include the date of the customer’s first purchase and a notes section where you and your staff can input small details that come up. Sage Intacct Construction Edition and Acumatica Construction Edition enable you to track interactions and create a chart that your sales team can refer to when they need to personalize a conversation with a customer.
5. Respond To Every Concern
When customers call for help or have a complaint, it is important to offer the same friendly and attentive service no matter the size of their project or how many times they have worked with you. However, if a repeat customer has an issue, it is especially important to flag the call for immediate attention to avoid losing this relationship.
While the construction industry is vastly different from the product industry, complaints and reviews online are just as common – and just as consequential. Be sure to monitor online for mentions of your brand, and be sure to respond quickly to complaints on social media or review websites. Ignoring this type of criticism can not only cause you to lose the upset customer, but it could also scare off any new prospects who have discovered your construction services.
By learning more about your customers, engaging with them, responding to complaints, and adjusting your business based on both the quiet and louder customer feedback, you can ensure that your business is growing. In the construction industry, the best way to obtain new jobs is to foster existing long-term customer relationships over the course of many years.