It’s a strange time if you work in construction or fenestration.
Construction and fenestration businesses are currently experiencing a confusing mix of boom or bust fortunes. Construction has seen the most employees of any industry coming back to work after being furloughed. The Fenestration industry has experienced record order weeks, increased production levels and innovative new products being introduced.
At the same time there have been several high–profile liquidations in the wider construction and fenestration industry this year. Whilst some companies batten down the hatches, cut costs and do their best to survive, others are innovating, investing, adapting, and pivoting into new areas.
Many businesses are struggling to know how to react to ‘never-seen-before’ challenges. If that’s you, don’t worry – we’ve got some ideas for you. Amongst all the challenges posed we want to give you some success secrets to help your business during this time.
Dealing with crisis – delivering high quality customer experiences
There is no right or wrong way to deal with a crisis. Each business will do what it needs to survive. However, the importance of customer relationships should not be underestimated when trying to weather a financial storm. Why?
Quite simply, customer experience is one of the most important aspects of securing your work pipeline throughout a financial crisis.
Delivering a great customer experience will help you to attract more high value, repeat business. And when it’s tough to get new customers the best thing you can do is keep the ones you already have.
Bottom line – if you’re not focussing on customer relationships – whether new or existing, you’re missing a huge opportunity.
3 ‘Grow your business’ secrets
A great customer experience is something that every business can deliver, no matter what. They can do this by following 3 key points.
Learn about your customers
If you want to build better customer relationships, personalised marketing is important. No one wants to feel like just another customer. As consumers, we now expect marketing messages to be tailored for us.
The key to a great personalised customer experience is understanding who your customers are, what they do and what they want. This will show you how you can have a long and mutually beneficial relationship with them.
When you know what your customer’s needs are, you’ll be able to give them a solution. But it goes much deeper than that.
Having an understanding of the products they manufacture or install, sectors they work in and changes in key stakeholders will arm you with vital intelligence about your customers. This intelligence will equip you to maximise any opportunities you might have to sell to that customer.
On top of this, one of the most fundamental things to be aware of is financial security. In this current crisis many companies have been struggling to pay suppliers and some have even liquidated. So, whether a customer has been with you for 6 months or 6 years, getting ahead of the curve on any financial changes to that business will ensure you are in a better position to act quickly to minimise any impact these changes may have on you. This, in turn, will help to safeguard your revenue and business.
Communicate with them
Communication is one of the most important skills to have if you want to be a successful business. Regularly talking to your customers can be the difference between being successful and failing to get what you want.
Mistakes happen. We are only human, and in time of a crisis, with pressures and burdens on everyone’s shoulders, communicating with your customers can easily get forgotten. The most important thing, however, is owning and admitting fault whilst also finding the best solution for all parties. By being honest and maintaining integrity you can build loyalty and trust with your customers.
Equally, communication is not necessarily just for the bad times. Maybe you just want to call your customer after an order has been received to ensure everything was ok, maybe let them know of a new product release that may work well for them. This demonstrates that you value them as a customer.
Whatever it is, remember, if they are using (or could potentially use) another supplier – who do you think would stand out the most? The one with integrity and honesty, or the one who demonstrates a lack of care and customer care consistency?
Manage customer relationships
Once you know who our customers are, and you adopt a proactive approach to communication, you’ll need somewhere to keep track of customer, marketing and sales information. For some, this is pieces of paper, others use excel sheets. Nowadays lots of people use digital tools such as CRM systems.
Whatever technique you use, it’s important to ensure you can quickly and efficiently access any information on your customers that is relevant at the time.
Having all customer details in one place will allow you to take desired actions as when needed, improving on your communication and relationships with your customers.
A CRM is also a place to track how beneficial those customer relationships really are to you. changes in order quantities or occurrence, issues with quality.
So how can you manage your customer relationships in a better way?
CRM tools to manage customer relationships
In our opinion, a CRM system is the best way to do this.
1) Paper records carry a lot of risk. The information can easily be lost or destroyed. This could create serious data protection concerns.
2) Excel sheets are slightly better however still carry risk – what if you lose the document? what if someone leaves the business and takes the information with them giving your customer data to your competitors?
Cloud based CRMs systems are a secure, compliant, and efficient space to hold, access and manage customer data. Using this type of tool for managing customers will enable all departments to work collectively to ensure maximum benefit for both your business and the customer.
Build customer relationships to succeed
Great customer relationships are a fundamental part of having a successful business. If you can develop strong relationships with your customers, crisis or not, this will enable your business to not only survive but also grow.
Whilst other stresses continue, it is important to sometimes take a breath, reflect and remember the importance of each and every one of your customers.
‘Grow your business’ secrets in a pandemic crisis guidance
We’d love to help you be more successful during this crisis and what’s yet to happen in the future. If you’d like to talk to us about your marketing contact us today.