Clients in Construction Industry: Effective Ways to Attract and Keep Them
It takes a lot of effort and time to start your construction company. But the most challenging part is to keep it. If you’re new to the industry, finding clients and getting your first construction projects can be tricky as your company doesn’t have enough reputation yet.
But even if your company has been working for years, sometimes the loyal customers might disappear, and you can have a hard time finding new ones because you were so caught up in your construction work that you didn’t have time to focus on your company’s marketing.
Whatever it is, finding ways to attract and keep clients in construction is one of the central problems in the industry, and we’re here to help you figure it all out.
In this article, we are going to define the different types of clients in construction, how you can learn to attract them and make them satisfied with your services so that they stay with you for a long time.
So let’s get straight to the topic!
Types of construction clients
First, let’s define what we mean by saying “construction client.” In the construction industry, a client is rarely an individual. Most of the time, it will be an organization or a group of people rather than a single person.
Clients in the construction business can be divided into two main parts: commercial and domestic clients.
Commercial clients are organizations or individuals that need a construction project for their business.
Some of their responsibilities in the project can include to:
- Provide enough pre-construction information to the construction company.
- Manage the overall project and help the construction company to ensure and handle the health and safety risks.
- Oversee and review all the management processes throughout the entire project.
- Ensure that the construction company has a proper project plan.
Some examples of commercial clients include:
- Local authorities
- Landlords who own domestic properties
- Housing associations
The most common examples of commercial projects in the construction industry are the building of restaurants, medical facilities, shopping malls, hotels, and so on.
As commercial clients usually require you to work on pretty large-scale and complex projects, the client management process is also more complicated. You should be prepared that your project will have a bunch of starts and stops, so your approach should be more flexible. At any given project, the plan can change, and you might have to develop a new management strategy.
Domestic clients are the individuals who need construction work for their home or the home of their family members. In other words, their construction project is not connected with any business needs.
Domestic clients usually don’t want to carry any responsibilities, so their role in the project is passed to:
- Contractor: in single contractor projects, the contractor will usually take the domestic client’s duties in addition to his own.
- Principal contractor: if the project has more than one contractor, the principal contractor takes on the domestic client’s legal responsibilities and duties.
Domestic clients are always the individuals who need the construction project for their homes and other places of residence. Compared with commercial clients, the client management process with domestic clients is usually smooth, as the project is relatively smaller, so it’s easier to keep it under control.
Ways to Attract and Keep Construction Clients
Now that we’ve defined the two main types of clients in construction let’s figure out how your company can attract them.
How to attract construction clients
We know it can be hard sometimes to find new clients, but if you follow some of our tips mentioned below, it will be less overwhelming. So here are a couple of steps you can make to attract clients sooner and improve your brand recognition:
Build and keep your company’s reputation on the Internet
In the old times, the primary way people built a reputation for their business was through word of mouth. But times have changed, and although word of mouth is still key for a successful business, creating and maintaining a brand takes way more effort.
Today, most of your branding goes on in the digital world. Not having a professional website for your construction company means losing thousands of potential customers who rely solely on the Internet in their search for a good construction company. So when you’re starting to work on your brand awareness, your central messaging and philosophy should be seen and portrayed on your business website.
Here are some steps to build a professional website for your construction company:
- Instantly convey your key message through a good copy
You visit Taylor Lane’s website, and the first thing that catches your eye is the slogan “Build Your Dream Home.”
It’s written with a big white font on the background of which is an image of a beautifully simple and comfortable-looking country house that seems to be taken straight from our most innocent and sweet dreams. Together with the visual, the copy instantly conveys to us what the Taylor Lane company is doing: it’s helping you build your dream home!
If you skim through the website, you’ll see that Taylor Lane also works on commercial projects, but from the message on their homepage, it’s evident that their main target is domestic clients. And for them, hearing that they can finally get the home of their dreams sounds exciting, making them more interested in what the company does.
- Work on your website design and keep it updated
We’ve talked about the copy, but we also mentioned the visual that accompanied it. That’s because website design and copywriting go hand in hand. If you want to make a good first impression on your potential clients, you should attract them not only with words but with images and a properly designed page.
By saying “properly designed page” we mean both the UI and the UX. It should be easy for your clients to navigate your page and find what’s where. Otherwise, they will be confused too quickly and leave your website.
So make your professional page look and feel good. Avoid overstuffing it with too much information, but also ensure that you give enough details to convince them. And don’t forget to be aware of the latest web design trends and strategies: the last thing you want is to have a website that looks old and hence doesn’t feel trustworthy enough.
- Manage your online reviews
The statistics say that 88% of customers trust online reviews just as much as they trust the personal recommendations from someone they know. That means that if you truly want to create strong brand awareness, you should ensure that your customers share the positive experience they’ve had with your company by leaving reviews.
At the same time, if something in your construction project went wrong, try to communicate with your customers and solve the problems so that the issue doesn’t lead them to the state where they want to ruin your company’s reputation and leave a negative review.
- Develop and maintain quality content
Remember that your audience is looking for quality content that will be informative, useful, or entertaining. So work seriously on your content creation by offering them information that would prove that you’re an expert in the field. Good content will also be shared easier, which will lead to more website traffic and interaction.
And this leads us to our next point:
Incorporate a detailed marketing strategy
When you build your online presence and establish your brand image online, it’s time to make it visible to all the potential clients in construction. That’s when marketing enters the game. Traditional marketing channels aside, you can find so many new customers by using the Internet.
But be careful to live up to your promises so that your expectations and delivery correspond. And, don’t forget to ensure customer satisfaction through customer care services throughout their experience so that they feel safe working with your company.
Here are some tips for better marketing and customer experience:
- Develop a strong SEO strategy
SEO stands short for search engine optimization. It’s one of the main ways to ensure your visibility on SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages), helping your website’s organic traffic grow. Here’s a scenario. Imagine one of your potential domestic clients is planning to build a house but has no idea how to start and which construction company to choose. So he writes in Google, ” construction companies that build houses in Florida.”
Suppose your company is based in Florida — this will be your chance to appear in your potential client’s searches and persuade him to choose your company. Now the thing is that appearing in search results isn’t that easy. You need to stuff your website with the right keywords, speed optimize your page, take care of link-building and follow other SEO practices to have the chance to pop up on the first page of Google.
And most importantly, SEO takes time. You can’t write hundreds of blogs at once and then expect them to magically improve your website’s SEO ranking. However, when you do give it enough time and patience, it will be extremely rewarding for your company. After all, SEO can serve as the ultimate answer to your question,” how to find clients in construction?”
- Start a PPC campaign
Now, if you actually go on and search “construction companies in Florida,” you’ll see that the first searches that come up are actually paid searches. If you see the small AD sign near the search result, it means that the company has paid for appearing on top of the search result.
Google Ads are, in fact, a part of the PPC campaign, which is a great way of attracting clients in construction before you’ll start receiving leads or a lot of organic searches from your SEO strategy.
- Write a blog
If you want to rank high, you need to start a blog, and that’s something that all the SEO specialists will agree on. Writing a blog does not only help you to answer your client’s questions, but it also gives you a space for using all the right keywords that can help you rank higher on SERPs.
It can also help you get lots of backlinks, which is also an essential factor for SEO. Hubspot’s study showed that websites that start a blog receive 97% more backlinks than those that don’t. Having backlinks, in its turn, can help you increase your domain authority and contribute to the increase of your traffic.
Keeping clients happy in construction
- Email marketing
Keeping clients happy in construction isn’t easy. They can quickly switch the company if they see that the competitor offers better services. So, make sure you use email marketing to keep them updated about your new services, success stories, and everything else that will remind them why they’ve made the right choice when choosing your company.
- SMS marketing
A good alternative to email marketing can be SMS marketing which is in many cases, a more efficient solution. The thing is that SMS messages have a higher open rate, while emails can sometimes get lost in the inbox or be forever buried in the Spam folder. So consider integrating SMS into your marketing strategy too.
- Positive word of mouth
The term positive word of mouth is self-explanatory. If your clients talk good about your company and share their positive experiences with others, it will very naturally boost your company’s reputation and help you get new clients.
For this one, your main task is to organize different marketing frameworks where your customers can interact with each other, or with other interested clients. However, the primary way of getting positive word of mouth is simply offering quality services and doing your job right!
- Be responsive
Congratulate your clients on their birthday or a holiday, send them offers, and always maintain communication. In case they approach you with a question or problem, be highly responsive, ensuring you do all your best to offer a solution. Responsiveness is your key to ensuring customer satisfaction.
Once you actually succeed in attracting new customers, it’s essential to learn how to keep them. And for keeping clients happy in construction, one of the crucial things is to:
Ensure Quality Services by Keeping Your Staff Updated
Your services highly depend on the team you’re choosing, so from time to time, you need to check whether all of your employees deliver quality performance and have enough training for their role or not.
Here are some of the steps for tracking your subcontractor’s work quality:
- Define the performance indicators for each of the main activities
- Evaluate your subcontractor’s work based on those indicators
- Choose an employee who is responsible for reviewing the subcontractor’s evaluation
- Reward your subcontractor for the great work
- Pay attention to the red flags: if there are significant issues in performance, find their root and talk about them with the subcontractor. In severe cases, you should also penalize the subcontractor.
The general contractor’s role is to identify whether the subcontractor’s work is suitable for the construction company and hence decide whether they need the subcontractor and are ready to work with them long-term or not. If they conclude that the subcontractor’s performance can damage the overall project and eventually harm customer satisfaction, they should hire a different employee.
Here are some tips for updating the team and finding a good subcontractor:
- Talk to your past or current partners
Remember we’ve talked about word of mouth? Well, it can help you in this case too. Talking to your existing or previous partners and asking them for personal recommendations can help you find truly talented subcontractors.
- Ask around
You also want to ask for references from your neighbors and locals in general who are or have been domestic clients working on their home projects.
- Let social media help you
You can find hundreds of online forums and groups on social media where people are ready to help and answer all your questions regarding your construction project. They can suggest some great subcontractors too.
When you finally find a good subcontractor, make sure you maintain the successful collaboration by:
- Rewarding your subcontractors for their excellent performance to motivate them. If subcontractors get constantly rewarded, they will continue offering even better work throughout the project.
- Being honest and open so that you build respect and trust with your skilled subcontractor and make them want to return for another project in the future.
Here are a bunch of questions you should ask yourself about the vendors before deciding whom to choose:
- Who offers the best material quality?
Are you satisfied with the quality of the materials, and are they worthy of use in production? How often do you notice an issue with the materials or simply get the wrong materials from the vendor?
- Which vendor offers the most cost-efficient solutions?
Does the vendor often raise the prices? Can you use contract management to negotiate better terms and prices, or does your vendor refuse to lower the price?
- How often are there delays?
Do shipments always arrive on time? Can the vendor scale in case larger or emergency orders come up? How often do materials arrive delayed, get lost, or are damaged?
- How risky is it to work with the vendor?
Are the materials being produced according to all the applicable laws? Are the materials sourced ethically? What is the vendor’s reputation in the industry?
By answering all of these questions, you can find the best vendor for you and your clients in construction. In case you figure out that your current vendor is problematic, here are some of the tips for finding a new one:
Rely on referrals
We know we’ve mentioned this point for subcontractors, but the same principle works for vendors too. Ask out-of-town construction companies for a good supplier’s contact info. Why out-of-town? Because you probably don’t want to ask your local competitors, as the chances are high that they won’t give a proper answer.
If you don’t know something, Google it! Try to search the web for the best local suppliers, and who knows, maybe you’ll find your future vendor.
Attend trade shows
In the trade shows, you’ll find many suppliers looking for new business and get hundreds of business cards to contact later on.
Once you find a good vendor, keep the successful collaboration by:
- Regularly meeting with them and giving constructive feedback: Even if you can’t meet in person with your vendors, make sure you regularly update them by at least sending quick summary emails. Discuss together how you can improve your relationship from both sides, and be ready not only to give but receive constructive feedback.
- Having a holistic view of the supply chain: Deloitte CPO survey showed that 65% of participants had limited or no visibility beyond their tier 1 supplier. Moreover, only 6% claimed that they have full chain transparency. So make sure you’re among that 6% because if you want a successful collaboration with your vendor, you need to have a holistic view of all the suppliers.
Once you update your team and are confident in the services you offer, there are only a couple of steps left to take for ensuring the highest possible customer satisfaction. Let’s quickly skim through it:
Construction Customer Satisfaction: How to Keep Your Clients in Construction
Customer satisfaction has been linked to positive customer behaviors like long-term loyalty or purchase intentions. If you secure complete customer satisfaction, you’ll end up having loyal clients in construction who can be your source of long-term financial security.
But how do you keep your clients satisfied? Well, here are our main tips for each stage of the project!
Before the start of the project
As we’ve already mentioned below, you shouldn’t promise more than you can deliver. The key to keeping clients happy in construction is ensuring that they get what they expect. So make sure there is no misinformation in the initial stages of the project and thoroughly communicate exactly what your construction plan is and how you will achieve it.
During the project
Ensure transparency throughout the project by constantly updating your clients on what stage the project is and how it’s progressing. Provide them with visual proofs so that they can feel that you are talking facts. You can do it with construction software which will also allow you to manage construction clients, assess and oversee the tasks, and help your team stay focused.
With the software, each team member can have their input in progress by setting realistic deadlines and goals that they know they can reach. It will help the project managers to improve teamwork by giving enough independence to each team member.
Still, ensure that no deadlines are being missed and the quality of the work is not being sacrificed in order to avoid construction rework later on.
Here are some helpful features of construction management software like Buildern for monitoring the project, reporting the changes, and ensuring customer satisfaction:
- Connect all your vendors, subcontractors, sales, and accounting teams, in other words, your entire staff under one digital roof, and sync them together.
- Ensure project transparency to your clients in construction with the user management tool.
- Manage the pre-sales processes and keep an efficient communication with your existing and new leads
- Take care of financial aspects by managing the project costs and including the accounting processes in your project management workflow.
After the project is completed
Finally, once the project is completed, send out surveys to your customers and ask them to state their opinion and give feedback on the overall project.
When creating the survey, make sure you clearly define your objectives and explain why you’re sending the survey to your customers. Don’t make the survey too long, though, as they might not have enough time to fill it in.
Once the survey is ready, send it to all your existing clients in construction and collect their feedback. By analyzing the survey answers, you can identify your company’s strong and weak points and try to improve your performance during future projects.
Some extra tips for keeping clients happy in construction
- Always improve your performance
- Know your customer’s needs
- Reach and even try to go beyond their expectation
- Keep communicating with your clients
- Respond to their questions and try to solve all their issues on time
- Help your customers to achieve their goals
- Make them feel valued
Clients in the construction business, as in any other industry, play a huge role in the company’s success, so finding out ways to attract and keep them is one of the essential steps for any construction company. We hope this blog post will help you reach new clients and improve your overall customer satisfaction, making your company packed with new leads and project requests!
If you want more tips and tricks for managing your construction company, don’t forget to check out other helpful resources and blog posts here.