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The customer is king

Variations of the phrase, “The customer is always right,” are used worldwide to emphasise the importance of customer satisfaction...

How to ensure customer satisfaction in the construction industry

Variations of the phrase, “The customer is always right,” are used worldwide to emphasise the importance of customer satisfaction. The German variation translates as, “The customer is king,” whereas in Japan they say, “The customer is God.” Here Tom Dunn, director of major accounts at surface preparation expert, National Flooring Equipment, explains how contractors in the construction industry can ensure customer satisfaction.

The construction industry is extremely competitive, so your company’s success depends on its reputation. Due to the widespread reach of social media, a single customer’s experience can considerably impact your company’s reputation.

Typically, a customer that’s satisfied with your services will share their experience with just a couple of people, whereas a customer with a complaint will tell many more. 93 per cent of US consumers take action following inadequate customer service, according to a survey conducted by NewVoiceMedia. Therefore, you cannot afford any unsatisfied customers.

For a customer to be entirely satisfied, you must offer a fair quote, complete the work in a timely manner and reach an end result that meets the customer’s desired finish. It’s important that the end result is of a high quality and this relies on the use of reliable and effective machinery and equipment.

National Flooring Equipment boasts 50 years of expertise in the surface preparation industry and continues to release new versions of its equipment with improvements based on customer feedback. The company also provides contractors with training to help them choose the most suitable machinery.

As with any customer-facing role, it’s also essential that contractors behave professionally, keeping the worksite clean and safe. National Flooring Equipment supplies a range of dust collectors that can help you to ensure cleanliness.

Do your research

You can only meet your customer’s expectations if you take the time to communicate with them and develop a clear understanding of their envisioned result. You should be clear on what they want the construction to look like as well as how they plan to use it.

To plan a job effectively, contractors must gather information on the area, including the location of the building, surrounding structures and power availability. It’s also important to determine who will be using the building during the construction work, where exactly they will be located and at what times. You can use all this information to decide which machinery to use, the safety features to put in place and the schedule for the job.

Managing customer expectations

Customers sometimes have unrealistic expectations of contractors and it’s the contractor’s job to manage this. The key to this is regular communication. We advise contractors to be in direct communication with the customer at least daily as well as every time they progress to the next stage of the job. Make sure the customer is informed of the initial plan for the work and is kept updated every step of the way.

Never ignore a customer complaint

The best way to deal with a complaint is to discuss it with the customer and take notes. You should review the discussion immediately so that you can learn how to avoid a similar complaint in the future.

By acting on a customer complaint in a timely manner, you reduce the risk of them publicising their bad review, which would damage your company’s reputation.

Is the customer always right? You must let them think so, but in fact, managing their expectations in accordance with your capabilities is important for ensuring customer satisfaction.