Construction is a lucrative business, with data from Statista showing that the revenue of the industry in 2030 will be more than twice as big as it was in 2020. Whether you already have a profitable construction company or you’re about to create one, there’s always more to know about how to establish long-term relationships. Here’s a guide on how to attract and retain clients.
1. Build a strong reputation
It goes without saying that clients are significantly more likely to offer you new projects if you have a proven track record of delivering satisfactory work. You can build a strong reputation by consistently providing products that make customers happy. The more satisfied customers you have, the more likely you are to receive new customers through customer referrals. In other words, if you make clients happy, they may recommend you to others and, as such, bring you new customers.
Nowadays, reputation is not just a question of word-of-mouth. Much of the “infrastructure” on which your reputation is based will probably be in digital form. This means you should implement a system that encourages past clients to leave you good reviews that can then be read by others who are considering becoming your clients.
2. Work with the best in the industry
Whether you’re looking to attract new talent to your company or need to outsource some operations to third parties, it’s important to invest time and resources in attracting the right talent. Depending on how big your company is, this goal may be achievable by having a human resource team or simply by leveraging online tools that can put you in contact with people who have the expertise you’re looking for.
The most well-known places to search for talent are platforms such as LinkedIn or job board websites such as Indeed. Search websites can also come in handy. For example, you can perform a reverse email search to check if the email address is correct or confirm the identity of buyers and vendors.
3. Don’t neglect the importance of communication during a project
Just because you’ve managed to gain a contract and are sure you’ll deliver the project successfully, don’t assume that clients don’t want to hear about you until you deliver them the final project. In fact, maintaining open lines of communication with clients throughout all stages of the project is likely to contribute to trust building and overall client satisfaction. The more your clients feel well-understood, the more likely they may be to remain loyal to your service, as long as you deliver according to their expectations.
To make sure that communication is satisfactory, it’s best to have a communication plan in place before starting a project. More specifically, establish the details of the project with the client, including how communication will take place and how often. A communication plan may include things such as regular updates and progress reports.
4. Showcase your past projects
If you’ve already completed at least a few projects, it would be a major overlook not to showcase them to both old and new customers. Just like in other fields, the portfolio of a construction company serves as proof of one’s skills and quality of work. Through a portfolio, new clients can get glimpses of how their own projects might look like if they work with you. Old clients, on the other hand, can potentially see reasons for working with you on new projects that are not strictly related to what you previously did for them.
Specific items that you can add to your “library” include photos, project descriptions, before-and-after images, and client testimonials. Before posting content about a project, make sure to consult with the project’s owner or to have a previous contractual agreement so that you ensure you won’t have privacy-related conflicts with past customers.
5. Offer competitive pricing
Pricing your products and services can be especially challenging in a competitive field, as you potentially have to consider competition, your authority in the field, target customers, and several other factors.
Not only should your prices be competitive but also justifiable. More often than not, clients would want to understand the costs they have to pay, for which you may want to provide detailed and itemized quotes. If your clients perceive your prices are reasonable and transparent, they’re more likely to return to you for new projects.
6. Invest in technology
Let’s assume one company can build something in 3 months while another one needs 5 months to build the same thing. Let’s also assume both companies have the same number of employees and the difference is not explained by employee productivity. What’s left to explain the difference between the two companies is the technology they have at their disposal.
Investing in new technology in an area where efficiency and accuracy are very important is a no-brainer. The investments don’t even have to be in construction technology but in other relevant areas, such as visualization tools. For example, your clients are likely to appreciate when they can get detailed 3D models of the future building and may also enjoy the use of virtual reality or augmented technologies.
Bottom line: Happy customers mean long-term customers
Construction, while a lucrative industry, is also a highly competitive one. It’ll likely take you some time to differentiate yourself from the competition and you’ll experience more challenges in the early days of your company. The more established you are in the field, the easier it is to gain new projects.
The key to your success may well be happy customers. If your first clients are satisfied with your services, they’re not only more likely to return as customers but they may also recommend you to others. In other words, if you have a strong strategy in place to ensure customer satisfaction, you should benefit from both long-term customers and a constant flow of new ones.