Are your customers telling you the whole truth?
How does your company foster consumer trust?July 25th, 2019 by
Trends come and go in the world of residential construction just as they do in almost every other industry. For builders and home improvement contractors, however, these trends impact not just the design and project specifics customers request—they also affect the overall experience and level of service your clients expect.
For the past five years, GuildQuality has worked with Qualified Remodeler to analyze customer satisfaction data and present the findings to our industry peers. We’re proud of this knowledge-sharing relationship. Our mission at GuildQuality is to help contractors be better, and data gives everyone the information they need to improve.
For our 2019 customer satisfaction report with QR, we identified the top 19 service traits and analyzed their connection to 30 of the most common home improvement projects. Out of all the survey data we processed, one service trait stood out as an area of importance for homeowners, regardless of the job type: Trust.
If a homeowner doesn’t trust you, your crew, or your company as a whole, you likely won’t have a satisfied client (if the homeowner decides to hire you to begin with).
So, how do you ensure that your clients and prospective customers trust you? Do you know the pitfalls to avoid in fostering consumer trust?
Keep reading to learn more.
Building customer relationships based on trust
Trust may be an essential part of a long-lasting client relationship, but that trust doesn’t necessarily exist from the get-go.
The home services industry is a crowded space, and today’s consumers aren’t easily swayed by flashy marketing. They want honesty and a job well done—your job is to tick those boxes and set yourself apart from the competition with your approach to customer experience.
Keep our recommendations in mind as you craft a client experience built on a strong foundation of trust.
1. Opt for transparency above all.
Be honest and up front in all your interactions with clients—including interactions that occur online. Make sure that customers can easily reach you or another person at the company, and if something goes amiss over the course of a project, don’t make the mistake of trying to hide that information.
Does prioritizing transparency sometimes equal uncomfortable conversations? Yes, but the alternative is an unhappy customer who shares their negative experience with everyone they know.
Consider the following:
- Is warranty information easy to find and written in plain language on your website?
- Is your full contact information (phone number, address, email contact info, etc.) listed online as well as on business cards and sales and marketing collateral?
- Do you have an “About” page on your website that tells visitors about your company and your philosophy toward the work you do?
- Do you publish current reviews of your work on your website? Testimonials are a great resource for potential clients who want an unbiased picture of your company and its work.
These may seem like small details, but to a customer, being able to quickly find the information that matters to them can make all the difference when they’re making final hiring decisions.
2. Engage with the community.
Recent studies have shown that consumers really do care about an organization’s level of community involvement. Sure, getting involved locally can be more work on your end, but engaging with your community has so many benefits.
As a business owner, cultivating a presence in the community is the right thing to do. Community involvement also shows potential clients that increasing profits isn’t your company’s only goal.
For the average consumer, especially millennials who are particularly inclined to prioritize corporate values, your company’s activity in the community matters.
3. Prioritize security.
Because of the high-profile data breaches and hacks making the news, consumers are reluctant to give out their personal information. Be respectful of this by not requesting personal data that you don’t need. When you do receive private data from clients, explain how you’ll use and protect that information.
Be mindful of your website’s security, too. Website hacking typically isn’t personal or targeted, and it happens every day. For your security and peace of mind—and your customers’—don’t leave your website unprotected.
- Be sure that your website uses HTTPS. This important security measure is visible to your customers (your website URL will begin with https:// instead of http://), and it will benefit your site’s search ranking.
- Stay current with updates. Don’t ignore prompts to update the software you and your staff use, including any software that runs your website. Updates are created for a reason; out-of-date software is vulnerable to hacking.
- Educate yourself and your staff about phishing and other hacking attempts. Hackers become more sophisticated every day. Make sure you and your staff members know how to recognize and avoid modern phishing and hacking attempts.
The bottom line
Building strong customer relationships is the key to the long-term success of your business. When you begin with a foundation of trust, those relationships form more naturally.
Keep your customers at the center of every business-related decision you make, and remember to put yourself in your clients’ shoes. What would make you feel secure in working with a residential builder or remodeler? What information matters to you when you search for a home service pro?
When you do everything with transparency, cultivate an active presence in the community, and stay on top of digital security best practices, a solid base of loyal clients will follow.