Clear Client Communication Builds Customer Loyalty
May 18, 2020
As a contractor, you may think your work is just about building and delivering a quality project — but it's much more than that. It's about building a relationship with your customers, and that starts with clear client communication.
Communication is at the heart of what you do. It helps instill a sense of security and trust in your clients, manage their expectations and build your roofing business. First of all, if you don't already, think of your customer as a client. The term "client" conveys more of a relationship status and not simply a transaction or one-time project.
A few critical tips will help you have productive conversations with your clients.
Educate Your Client
Don't assume a homeowner having their roof replaced for the first time knows what will be done, how the process works or what might impede progress. Help them understand what a roofing contractor can (and can't) do and how your company operates. For example:
Does your client understand how the budget and the scope of work are determined? Explain your calculations to them.
Ensure your client knows what information they will need to provide along the way.
Explain your plan for executing the work, your phases of production and your milestones for the project.
Don't be afraid to be specific, and always communicate in advance so there are no surprises. Clear client communication helps avoid misunderstandings.
Give It to 'Em Straight
Use plain language in your conversations and any written client communication.That means avoiding industry jargon and acronyms that your clients probably won't understand. It might be as simple as saying "those metal plates around your chimney" instead of "apron flashing!" Using familiar terminology means homeowners will understand what you are doing and what you will be delivering.
You'll find that some clients relate better to visuals, which are a good way to illustrate what you are talking about. When you can, take advantage of 3D construction technology to provide your clients with a stronger representation of the project.
Ask for Clients' Communication Preferences
Ask clients how they want to communicate. Knowing their preference — email, phone, text or a combination — means you're more likely to reach them when you need to. Your goal is to make communicating with your roofing company as easy as possible. One good practice is to follow up after a talk (especially on phone calls) with a written record of what was discussed and agreed upon.
Establish One Point of Contact
Give your client one primary person at your business to reach out to. Too many points of contact lead to confusion and missed connections. You should ask for the same consideration, too. Having one primary point of contact on both sides will streamline the process.
Ask your client contact for feedback throughout the project. You want to make sure you're meeting expectations and, if you're not, that you have time to adjust. This gives you a chance to answer homeowners' questions and reinforce timelines and deliverables.
Positive Client Experience Can Lead to Referrals
If you want a truly successful business that stands out from your competition, exceed your client's expectations for communication and make the process pleasant for them. Your clients are not only evaluating your business on the quality of the new tiles or gutter repair job, but also on the quality of the experience they had with you.
Why is that important? A client who has a positive experience with you is more likely to become a repeat customer who is loyal and enthusiastic about referring you to others.