By Erica England, Marketing Manager for GuildQuality
Like it or not, your clients have a huge say in whether or not you earn new business. Ultimately, homeowners are looking to hire a remodeler whose credibility is strengthened by client testimonials. Therefore, you can’t successfully grow your business without the voice of your customers. The following are a few tips to help you ensure customers are singing your praises, and amplify their message.
1) Improve the way you’re communicating with clients
You can’t grow your remodeling business, let alone customer relationships without effective communication. BBB Integrity and Guildmaster award winner Brad VanWeelden, president of Brad VanWeelden Co., knows the important role communication plays in cultivating a strong bond with clients. The Des Moines exterior remodeler developed a process that’s led to 98 percent customer satisfaction with the way he and his team communicate during a remodel project.
“We start by asking what their preferred method of contact is. It could be anything from email, to text, or a phone call,” VanWeelden explains. “We make sure the production manager is accessible at all times. We follow up mid-project to see if there are any outstanding items, and then try to schedule a meeting at the end of the project to address any final concerns.”
The Brad VanWeelden team has begun surveying their customers to gauge how well they’re communicating, and provide another outlet for their clients to share their voice.
“It allows our clients to give us input on what we are doing right, and more importantly, gives management something to take back to everyone from office manager, production manager, to the crew that performed the service. We can discuss areas that need improvement, and put systems in place to ensure similar problems don't arise in the future.”
Surveying customers has also allowed Brad, and other remodelers, to identify who their happiest clients are.
2) Identify who your raving fans are
Remodeling leaders, like Criner Remodeling, take the guesswork out of determining who their raving fans are with the inclusion of one simple survey question: How likely are you to recommend my business to a friend? Not only is the recommend question a great way for the Newport News remodeling team to separate happy clients from the unhappy, it’s also a key indicator of the path their company’s reputation is taking. They advise all remodelers to keep a close eye on what their clients say when it comes to this particular question.
“Most consumers these days research every company, product and service before they buy. If clients are not recommending you, you will lose new and repeat clients,” said Joelle Mclaughlin, Marketing Coordinator for Criner Remodeling.
Missing out on clients because of your reputation can be avoidable if you focus on service. Investing in a little extra effort toward each project can pay off in the form of referrals.
“We spend a lot of time and money trying to generate the average lead. Referrals come to us because we delivered on a promise,” VanWeelden explains. “You always have an edge on the competition if you are selling to a referral.”
Delivering outstanding service to customers is the driving force behind the positive reputations of Brad VanWeelden Co. and Criner Remodeling. But these service excellence leaders also take things a step further and empower their loyal and raving customer base to use their voice and share their story.
3) Empower customers to share their story
Although there will always be clients of yours who are accustomed to sharing reviews, and even feel natural doing so, the vast majority need some guidance and encouragement. Empowering your customers to use their voice, especially online, can be as easy as communicating to each client how much you value their testimony and the benefit other homeowners would get from it as well. Everyone wants to feel like their voice matters, and reassuring your clients you appreciate them and their input can help to make them feel the motivation they need to speak up.
Stake your company’s claim on sites like GuildQuality, as well as social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest. Not only is this important from the standpoint of knowing what’s being said about your business, and boosting your SEO, but it also provides an easy way for your customers to find your business and an avenue for them to use their voices in a way that’s reaches more homeowners like them.