Outstanding customer service in the construction industry creates what we call Brand Advocates; customers who are willing to refer your business to friends, family and colleagues. Generating new business via word of mouth referrals has been proven to deliver increased profitability across the board. But how can you take your good customer service and transform it into an outstanding customer experience?
Providing this type of excellent customer service starts with a genuine desire to delight your customers, but you also have to think beyond selling your products or services. You need to consider the cumulative experience your customers have across each step of the sales / aftercare process, taking time to examine what they think and feel at each step.
- Know your customers
Great interactions begin with understanding your customers’ wants and needs, even if they’re unsure of what they want or need. When purchasing a new home, you have already been given a lot of personal information about your homeowner. As a Customer Care professional, get to know your customers, remember their names and previous conversations. If needed, make a note of what was discussed previously so you can refer to it the next time you meet. Speak with the Sales Representative that took the initial reservation to get their insight into your homeowner as well. The Sales Person has cultivated a trusting relationship with your customer that you should be looking to foster and further develop throughout the warranty period.
- Start Earlier
Distinguishing your firm from competitors at the HANDOVER stage is vital. Taking ownership of a new house is a momentous personal milestone for almost all of your customers, however this is likely not the last interaction your business will have with customers. By introducing your customer care representative to your customers at the handover stage, you can start a relationship on a positive footing which is more likely to result in future issues being resolved promptly.
At clixifix® an issue we often here about is that the first interaction a homeowner has with Customer Care is usually to report a defect. If your customer’s first interaction with Customer Care is to complain, they’re already starting from a negative position. A disappointed customer is less likely to lose their cool with someone they have an established relationship with as opposed to a faceless team member on the other end of the phone.
- Document the Interaction for future Research & Development
Keeping a track of the interactions with our customers helps you to identify and analyse service gaps and improve upon your service levels through customised training interventions. This is also beneficial when dealing with staff turnover, holidays, or illness. By keeping a record of interactions, a new team member can pick up exactly where the previous person left off helping to create a smooth transition from one operative to another.
- Deliver something unexpected
Creating an outstanding customer experience involves exceeding customer expectations. Handover day is the perfect time to inject a little bit more that will make taking ownership of a new home a truly memorable experience.
Understanding the needs of your customers on move-in day and making a little effort to address those needs is critical. Ensuring that the entire house is clean and ready to be used should be the very first item on your checklist. Imagine having to manage packing up a moving truck and arriving at your new home only to find that it needs a clean before you can settle in.
New home buyers are rarely familiar with new home maintenance. This represents probably the biggest investment of their life so it makes sense to teach homeowners how to look after their investment. By creating a resource that covers some of the basics of home maintenance, you’re allowing your homeowners to learn at their own pace. This should also reduce the number of defects reported that aren’t actual defects, but maintenance issues. We suggest developing a series of short ‘how to’ videos that can be hosted on an online portal for new homeowners to access.
Lastly, turn handover day into a celebration. Have a welcome hamper / flowers on hand to gift to your customers that includes some of the basics that every home needs. Basic cleaning supplies, tea and coffee, as well as some celebratory food and drink items demonstrates your understanding and gratitude for their business. We also recommend including information about local businesses (doctors, dentists etc), council services (how to get bins, garbage collection day etc) and any local information that is relevant including leisure centres, local gyms, youth groups for kids and any local sporting clubs.
Helping businesses in the Building and Construction industry provide outstanding customer care is what we’re passionate about at clixifix®. We feel that we’ve developed a tool that makes the everyday tasks of aftercare simple and streamlined, freeing up more time for your team to go the extra mile and provide a truly outstanding customer experience.
For more information about the clixifix® customer care platform, please head to our website or watch our overview video below. clixifix® is available on an obligation free, 30 day trial basis and can be implemented almost immediately with nothing to download or install. We look forward to joining you on your journey towards outstanding customer care.