Three Contractor Tips for Providing the Best Construction Service
February 25 | by Jamey Vick
As a construction contractor, you know just how challenging running your own construction business can be. There’s no shortage of competitors and with the increasing importance of Google & other social media reviews, missing the mark with a client could not only cost you that client, it could also limit your ability to generate new ones.
Fortunately, achieving success isn’t as difficult as it might seem. Clients, naturally, expect high quality work delivered on-time and with exceptional customer service. However, by incorporating the following three tips into your regular business practices, you’ll not only be able to get rave reviews and generate referrals from your clients, you’ll be well on your way to building a thriving business.
Tip 1: Make the Service Experience a Priority
Obviously, your technical skill and the quality of your finished product is important. It’s tangible, it lasts long after you’re gone and it’s why many contractors get into the business in the first place. So, it’s not surprising that this is what many contractors take great pride in. However, providing excellent product quality alone isn’t enough. For many clients, including the price conscious ones, their service experience is a key determinant of their satisfaction and decision to refer. Remember, people generally do business with people they like.
Providing an excellent service experience shows your clients that you respect them, that you care about them and that they can trust you. It means getting some big things right including making honesty & integrity one of your core principles. Among other things, it means doing what you say you’re going to do, when you say you’re going to do it. It also means providing clear quotes with transparent pricing, not cutting corners and, if there’s a problem, it means owning the issue and the solution. This doesn’t mean doing everything the client asks or taking the blame for something that isn’t your fault. However, it does mean being proactive and clear in communications, taking responsibility for what is your doing and ensuring a fair solution in a timely manner.
Of course, providing an excellent customer experience is also about getting the little things right. Mostly, it’s about communication. While individual things may never get noticed, when combined, they can create a powerful and lasting impression. Here are just a few examples:
- Maintain a pleasant and positive attitude
- Learn about, and act on, your clients’ needs, wants & preferences
- Use your client’s name and any relevant personal details when communicating
- Demonstrate knowledge & expertise but avoid technical terms or jargon when possible
- Provide regular updates and proactively flag potential problems with possible solutions
- Be accessible - provide an email address and a phone number answered by a person
- Be responsive - respond to or acknowledging all emails and voicemails within 24 hours
Of course, not all clients are easy clients but these and other customer service techniques can certainly make things easier.
Tip 2: Ensure Your Projects & Job Sites Are Well Managed
Managing your projects and job sites well is an important part of being able to deliver a high-quality product and experience to your client, on-time and on-budget. In fact, being well organized and disciplined, especially on the job site, is one of the best ways to avoid misunderstandings, errors and even accidents. All of these can lead to delays, cost over-runs and compromised client confidence and satisfaction.
When it comes to managing projects, this means taking a formal and structured approach to scoping, planning and managing activity. This applies to individual projects as well as to your overall roster of projects and can really help with managing resources and cash flow. Generally speaking, you’ll want to be sure to define and prepare for the:
- Scope and specifics of the project
- Project timeline or road map including all key phases, milestones, tasks & sub-tasks
- Resources required at each stage including cash, materials, equipment & personnel
- Management of quality, contingencies and client change requests
- Communication with stakeholder including updates & reviews
Clearly, the degree of formality will vary depending on the scope and number of the projects you have. At some point, you may want to consider using project management software or even hiring a dedicated projects manager.
When it comes to managing the job site, what we’re really talking about is keeping the site clean, safe and secure. Obviously, job sites can get busy. There can be a lot of people moving around trying to complete different tasks. While tools, materials and garbage can pile up, it’s something that should be actively and aggressively avoided.
Tools and materials should be put away and kept secure when not in use and all personnel should be cleaning as they go. That said, having someone responsible for ensuring that the site is clean and clutter free can make a big difference and using the same processes for every job means there should be no questions when it comes to knowing what’s expected.
Tip 3: Invest in Your Business
Consistently delivering a high-quality product and an excellent service experience, while managing your projects and job sites well as your business grows, depends on making continuous investments in your business. Of course, investing includes both time and money. Here are four key areas to focus on:
- Your people: this includes providing competitive compensation & benefits, providing ongoing training & development (on products, technical & interpersonal skills and project or business management) and strengthening your personal relationship with your team
- Your infrastructure: this is all about having the right tool for the right job and applies to the office as much as it does for the job site
- Your marketing: telling your company’s story (your team/culture, portfolio & client testimonials) is important for generating new clients but it’s also important for attracting new staff and potential strategic partners
- Yourself: not only do you need to stay on top of changes in your industry, as your business evolves, your role is likely to as well, so you will need to continue to develop new skills and expand your knowledge base to continue to be successful
Creating a successful construction service can be a challenge but if you focus on providing an exceptional service experience, if you manage your projects and job site well and if you continue to invest in your business, you’ll be well on your way to building a thriving business.
At VaVia, we have a wide range of dumpster rental options for contractors. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help with keeping your job site clean & safe, so you can focus on providing the best construction quality and experience for your clients.
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