Companies invest a lot of time and money in getting their name out into the world so they can gain new clients. While customer acquisition is obviously important, customer retention should be the main priority.
Growing healthy and long-lasting relationships with customers is easier, less stressful on business-owners and cost-effective. According to a study by Invesp, a conversion rate optimization company, attracting a new customer costs five times more than keeping an existing one.
Here are five ways companies can work better with customers and establish themselves as a place people will want to work with time and time again.
Develop clear and open lines of communication
Communication between contractors and their clients is one of the most critical pieces of any construction project. Chances are, homeowners will have a pretty specific idea of how they want a project to end up, and contractors will have a good idea of whether or not that vision is actually possible. Develop an environment where communication between homeowners and contractors is open, clear, and honest. Clarify any and all aspects of a project so that clients do not have any unspoken expectations. There cannot be trust without honesty (from both parties) and establishing trust will go a long way towards creating repeat customers.
Listen and take notes
Communication is great, but paying attention to and keeping a record of that communication is essential. Any time a decision is made regarding a renovation project, it should be recorded. Clients and contractors are busy people, and some projects can take a long time. Pay attention to customers, listen to their suggestions, and then write it down. Keeping a detailed record of all communication might seem like a pain, but it could really help clarify things in the long run.
People who are hiring construction companies are often literally paying strangers to come into their own homes. Be mindful of that. Anyone who steps foot in a house – from employees to subcontractors to contractors themselves – should present themselves in a professional manner. This will set the tone for the working relationship and let the clients know what they can expect throughout the project.
Many contractors like to think they are the best at what they do. That does not mean that every contractor is capable of everything their clients might want them to do. For example, clients may get big ideas for what can be accomplished during a renovation from a TV show or a magazine article. If a contractor says yes to everything without taking into consideration the skills of their own crew, they are setting themselves up for failure. The best way to manage expectations is to set realistic expectations on the front end.
Follow up post-project
Contractors should schedule a time after a project has been finished to do a walk-through with the clients. This shows customers that contractors hold themselves accountable for the work done by their company and are proud of the finished product. This is also a good time to break out the notes and double check that everything that was promised was delivered. Plus, by walking through the finished project, contractors can potentially spot other areas in a house that might need work. If customers are thrilled with a contractor’s work on their first project, they will be more open to hiring that company again.