While top-quality workmanship leads to a beautiful finished project, it’s only a small part of what goes into a siding replacement project or a new build. To differentiate yourself from your competitors, win more jobs, and build brand advocates, you’ll also need a first-class customer experience.
Building this experience is more than just providing great customer service, it’s about putting customers first and wowing them with every interaction they have with your business, from the first website visit until the last truck leaves the property.
No two companies will have the exact same customer experience, but the steps you take to build or improve upon it are similar. Here’s how to do it.
Creating the Best Experience Possible
Step 1: Document your current customer experience. Put yourself in your customer’s shoes and walk through their journey. As you scrutinize the process, note areas that could use improvement. Try to think of every single step of the way, such as:
• How customers find you. Do you have a strong social media presence? What does that look like and what does it say about your company? Is your website easy to use (on desktop and mobile) and does it provide helpful information?
• Their first contact. Do you provide multiple methods of contact on your website, such as email, phone, or submission form? Do you set expectations of when they’ll hear back (24 hours, for example) and do you follow through?
• The sales process. Ask yourself how you want your customers to feel during this process. For example, if you want them to feel confident in their choice, take the time to understand their needs and provide plenty of guidance.
• The construction process. Before you get to work, do you set expectations for how long the project will take? Are you regularly communicating your progress and explaining any hiccups that might change the timeline?
• Wrapping up. Is there something special you can do for the customer after the process is complete, such as presenting them with a small gift or a thank you card? Do you make it easy for them to leave reviews?
Step 2: Create a vision for your ideal customer experience. It’s big picture time. Setting money and time constraints aside, think about what kind of experience you want your customers to have, how you want them to feel about your company, and what actions you’ll take to achieve it. Think about all of the times you’ve said to yourself: “We should do this for our customers.”
During this time, it may be helpful to think about negative experiences you’ve had with other businesses and how they could have done things better. Similarly, think about the times you have been wowed by a business. Take all of these into account when creating your vision.
Step 3: Identify opportunities. Compare your current customer experience to your ideal customer experience. If there are discrepancies, set goals for improving. Break those goals down into smaller objectives that you can conquer one at a time, incrementally moving toward the experience you want for your customers.
Step 4: Execute your plan. Now that you have set actionable objectives, get your entire team on board. It may be helpful to write a vision statement that explains your priorities for customer experience and share that with your team so they can align their actions with those principles. Give them an overview of where you are, where you’re going, and the steps you’ll take to get there. Ask for feedback and ideas from your team to help execute or identify issues.
Step 5: Assess and continuously improve. Ask your customers about their experience and seek their suggestions for improvement. You can even ask them about specific ideas you have and assess whether something new might have improved their overall experience. Try soliciting opinions in person after your final walkthrough, or through a once- or twice-a-year email survey. You could even try offering incentives (like a gift card to a local restaurant) in exchange for dedicated time for a conversation.
Step 6: Measure the results. Try to quantify if your new customer experience is working. You might define your success as getting 50% more five star reviews over the course of a year. Or, you could define it as 25% fewer customer complaints over the quarter (you can also try these tips to reduce customer complaints). Continuously track these metrics to compare over time.
Getting the Competitive Edge
With so many competing businesses in the building industry, focusing on customer experience can help you get the edge you need to win and drive your business forward. If you can identify areas for improvement and develop a customer experience mindset across your entire team, you’ll be well on your way to more satisfied customer and great reviews.