How to Build Customer Trust Across Your Customer Base

Build Your Business

Author: Dan Stout | April 26, 2024

Roofing businesses thrive when the local community perceives them as trustworthy and deserving of a homeowner's hard-earned dollars. This is especially true for residential roofers, where customer trust also extends to allowing crews onto their property and around their families.

For your roofing business to earn a customer's trust, you'll need to commit to operating with a customer service mindset, for all your customers: past, present and future.

A silhouette of a roofing crew on a roof.
A crew that considers the customer's perspective is a crew that generates referrals.

Customer Service Mindset

From the initial sales call to closing out a warranty, every phase of a job should be viewed with a customer service mindset. That's easy enough to say, but what does it mean?

It's tempting to conflate a customer service mindset with simply being polite. But it actually means putting yourself in a customer's shoes and seeing things from their point of view.

Whether you're sending an email or staging materials, give a little thought to how things look from the customer's perspective, and make sure that you're giving them the information they need to be comfortable.

Building Trust with Current Customers

Many roofers think their only responsibility is to lay in a quality roof or repair. And it's true that doing good work will generate good reviews. However, doing high-quality work while also building trust will result in rave reviews and referrals. And it all comes back to that customer service mindset.

Let's say you have a multi-day job — consider the customer's POV every time you leave the site. Does the customer think you're running out to pick up more supplies, or are you done for the day? Do they know when you'll be back tomorrow? If you haven't told them what to expect, they're left wondering if it's okay to leave home or use the driveway. You'll end up with a customer who's confused and anxious about expectations, which is exactly what you don't want!

Things that might seem basic or obvious to you may be brand new and unexpected to homeowners. You've worked on dozens or even hundreds of roofs. But for the homeowner, this is likely their first roofing project. A little bit of communication can go a long way toward reducing complaints and developing a reputation for being easy to work with.

Building Trust with Past Customers

Too many roofers view prior jobs as wrapped up and in the past. For them, follow-up services and warranty calls are a necessary evil. Let's turn that on its head and apply a customer service mindset to warranty calls.

Rather than waiting for a customer-generated warranty claim, schedule a warranty visit six months after job completion. Conduct an inspection and fix any potential issues. Give the customer a full report and leave them a thank-you gift, such as a calendar or thermos with your logo.

From the customer's perspective, their roofer came out without being hounded to do so, found an issue, fixed it and left them with a gift. This can get your points in their book.

But from your perspective, you've solved an issue before it became an expensive headache, and your only cost is a half-day of labor and a piece of swag that costs a few dollars. Even better, you've essentially converted warranty service into a sales call. You're proving that you care about customer service and doing things right, and have almost guaranteed that the customer will recommend you to friends or family.

Building Trust with Potential Customers

First impressions matter! A potential client's first impression of your company is often not with your highly polished sales team or a well-packaged ad but with your on-site crews and the face they present to the world.

Think of all the times when you're on a job and see neighbors slowly strolling by to watch your crew at work. Some of them are simply being nosy, but others are considering having work done on their own homes. These are prime candidates for additional work, but they need to know you're a reputable contractor.

Make a good first impression on these neighbors by considering their point of view. When they see contractor trucks, they start wondering if they can park in the street, if the crew will make a mess and whether noise will be an issue.

Build customer trust in advance by sending a letter or postcard to your customer's neighbors, letting them know you'll be doing work and addressing their concerns. Give them a number to call if they have any comments or questions. This is an extremely low-pressure way to make a professional impression. And if that number also connects to someone who can answer their questions about estimates and scheduling, all the better!

The Customer Trust Tipping Point

Bringing a customer service mindset to your jobs can elevate you to a home-improvement all-star and lead to the moment when all the hard work pays off. Once a homeowner switches from thinking of you as "a roofer" to "my roofer," then you've secured a place in their hearts and guaranteed a source of referrals and testimonials.