Optimizing Customer Experience: Ask for Feedback and Make it Easy

get feedbackNo matter how much experience you have running a construction company, there’s always a chance to gain valuable insight by listening to your clients. The easier you make it for them to share their opinions, the more you stand to gain.

Ask at the Right Times

Before you start inviting feedback, get clear on what parts of your business you want to improve. Are you trying to shorten your prospect conversion time? Do you want your clients to stay with you longer? Clients at different stages can give you different types of insight.

New clients – You can learn how to make it easier to start working with your firm by asking your new clients about their experience getting started.

Satisfied current clients – After you complete a project, ask your client what they thought went well and what didn’t.

Departing clientsDissatisfied clients are one of your best sources for ideas on how to improve your business. Pay attention to signs that suggest a client is about to leave and step in to ask for feedback. Even if you can’t salvage the relationship, you can learn what not to do in the future.

Make Sharing Opinions Easy

The less time and effort your clients need to spend providing feedback, the more likely they’ll be to do it. Simple surveys work well if you keep them short. Two to five questions with space for comments is plenty.

To get more specific feedback, closely tailor your questions to the client’s interests, such as remodeling, new home construction or multi-family residential construction.

For new clients, include a short survey in your welcome package. For current clients, combine a feedback survey with a referral form.

A quick phone call can give you even better results. You’ll be able to clarify your questions when needed and ask for more detail when a client’s comment piques your interest. Dissatisfied clients won’t always feel comfortable coming to you with their complaints, but a phone call can re-open the lines of communication.

Using Online Reviews Correctly to Increase Visibility

online reviewsBlogging and using social media aren’t the only ways to bring more online attention to your construction firm. By leveraging good reviews, you’ll get more eyes on your business while also making a great first impression.

How Reviews Get You Seen

While it might seem the only job of your online reviews is to convince prospects of your expertise, the benefits start long before that. Reviews are part of what help those prospects find your business in the first place.

On platforms such as Google My Business and the BBB’s website, business profiles with the most reviews and the highest ratings tend to rank better in the search engine results than less active profiles. When your prospect searches for “office building construction,” on Google or another search engine, they’ll see a profile with 10 reviews of 4 stars or higher before one that’s written to target that phrase, but lacks reviews.

The amount of activity your profile sees also helps boost its search engine ranking. The more reviews your profile gets, the more people will see it and later leave reviews themselves, creating a self-perpetuating cycle of online popularity.

Making Reviews Work for You

First, choose one or two review platforms to focus on. Google My Business is one of the most reliable options.

To maximize your business profile’s visibility, you’ll need to actively encourage your clients to leave reviews. After you solve a problem for your client, do them a favor or complete a project they’re happy with, directly ask for a review. Send a short email with a link to your preferred review site. To make their job even easier, offer ideas on what to comment on, such adherence to schedule and budget, quality of workmanship, and ease of communication.

Add review site buttons to your website as a reminder for your existing and returning clients.

Avoid the temptation to buy reviews. Review platforms can often detect fake comments and will penalize your profile for them.

How To Discover Your Potential Clients’ Biggest Challenges…

potential clientsMarketing that speaks directly to your prospects’ biggest problems is key to pulling in new clients, but before you can talk about those problems, you need to know what they are. Effective customer interaction can help you find out.

Check the Data

Market research data on construction and real estate can give you a bird’s-eye view of the challenges people in your target market are dealing with. Buying data from a market research firm is the fastest way to get the exact data you need, but don’t over look free sources such as economic data from the U.S. Census Bureau and the SizeUp tool from the U.S. Small Business Administration.

Data from your own clients is even more valuable. Compiling and analyzing data on projects that were delayed, came in over-budget or ran into other complications can help you zero in on your clients’ most common frustrations. Data on your rejected proposals can help you spot the challenges your prospects’ might feel you didn’t address as well as your competition. Even tracking which blog posts your visitors read most often can tell you about the problems they’re trying to solve.

Strike Up a Conversation

Data can guide you in the right direction, but because your target market is particular to your business, the only real way to find out what your ideal clients think is to ask them. Holding conversations with your existing and potential clients about the challenges they face is an integral part of effective customer interaction. It provides you with valuable insight, while also showing your clients you’re truly interested in understanding and meeting their needs.

There are multiple ways you can get this done. Send out an email survey, pose questions to your social media followers, gather a focus group or invite some of your best clients to one-on-one lunches on you. Customer relationship management software with data analytics features will let you process the information you gather more efficiently.

 

Getting Inside Your Potential Customer’s Head…

customer surveyConstruction market research helps, but there are some things only direct feedback from your current prospects and clients can tell you. When you want to know what’s going on in your potential customers’ heads, there are several survey methods that can help you find out.

Website surveys

The simplest way to get your prospects’ opinions is by offering a poll or survey form on your website. This allows anyone who stops by to share what they think with just a few clicks. If the topic applies to your business as a whole, such as which construction services your visitors are most interested in, place the form prominently in your sidebar. If you’re more interested in your readers’ take on specific issues, place your form at the end of blog posts related to that topic.

Social media polls

Many social media platforms give you the ability to post short polls for your followers or anyone else who might be interested. These surveys give you better quality information than website surveys. Someone following you on social media is naturally more engaged with your businesses than someone who stumbled across your site during an online search.

Email surveys

Your email list readers are some of your biggest fans and the most likely to respond to your questions. To keep things simple, ask them a single, open-ended question such as “What’s your best advice for someone choosing a construction firm?” Other times, you might want to send out a more in-depth questionnaire. In either case, respect your readers’ time and only ask for information you actually plan to use.

Phone surveys

Talking with your prospects by phone lends a personal touch to your survey and gives you the chance to clarify the questions or ask more about your prospects’ answers. It also shows you’re willing to invest your own time in getting to know them. While you might be wary of bothering your prospects and clients, research shows phone surveys can help build customer loyalty.

 

5 Ways Surveys Can Help Build Your Construction Business

Your construction business is built on satisfied clients, but to win your clients’ satisfaction, you need to stay tuned in to their needs and wants throughout the buying cycle. Astutely designed surveys help you gather the information you need for better construction lead generation, project management, and post-project follow-up.

  1. Learn about your clients – The more you know about your clients, the better you can target your services to meet their needs. When you give your clients exactly what they want, you’ll have more satisfied clients out spreading the word about your firm. The information you collect through surveys also gives you an edge over competitors who base their decisions on trial and error.
  2. Capture sales leads – A short survey gets your prospective client engaged with your firm, making it an effective construction lead generation technique. A survey also helps qualify leads, giving you the information you need to quickly decide whether or not a lead is pursuing.
  3. Measure satisfaction – Just because the job went smoothly with no complains doesn’t mean your client was truly satisfied. Providing your clients with a survey after the work is done gives them a chance to let you know about anything that could have gone better. The job will end on a positive note and you’ll made aware of any flaws in your process so they can be corrected
  4. Gather social proof – Testimonials and reviews help ensure your would-be clients that you can be trusted with their high-budget construction project. A survey makes it easy for your past clients to provide their testimonial so they’ll be more likely to actually do so.
  5. Encourage loyalty – Surveys show your prospective and current clients that you’re paying attention and genuinely care about their needs. When your clients know you’re on their side, they’re more likely to stick with your firm for the long term. A survey can also give you insight into how you can get your past clients to return.

For more tips on using surveys for construction lead generation and client care, contact Construction Monitor today.