Grow your business by growing your relationships
We know that building a construction business can be challenging. From bidding on projects and managing crews to taking care of machinery and balancing the books, contractors wear a lot of hats. However, at the end of the day, one of the most important parts of your career is relationships.
Relationships are built based on communication, with a foundation of trust and honesty. Keeping to these values can help skyrocket your business and retain clients. You should continuously build your connections and clientele, but it is cheaper to retain your current customers. Increasing your client retention by 5% can lead to a 25-100% profit increase, but you need to communicate effectively with customers to keep them coming back.
Whether establishing new relationships or maintaining old ones, it’s a common goal among the members of the Independent Equipment Dealers Association (IEDA) to communicate effectively with customers, and something they have spent years perfecting.
So, from several small business owners to you, here are a few tips to implement to help grow your business:
Follow-up with customers no matter what
Customers appreciate knowing their business has not gone unnoticed. Following up with your clients is a great way to grow your relationships and let them know you value their business. A “thank-you” is all it really takes to acknowledge your customers and keep them coming back but going beyond that “thank-you” is where your relationships really grow.
Newsletters are a great way to continuously follow-up with clients. They inform your customer base of new information regarding your business and are a cheap communication tool to keep clientele involved with your business.
But what if you have a complaint? No complaint should go unnoticed. If your business has complaints, address them personally. Reach out to the client to offer a solution to the situation. Addressing the problem immediately will give the client a better experience with the company, and you will gain trust from the client to fix a situation if something goes astray.
Customer experience needs to be a priority
Experience has become one of the most important aspects of growing a relationship. You’re not going to purchase a machine from a dealer who has poor reviews and wants your purchase decision immediately; you want to buy from reputable dealers that take the time to answer your questions. Experiences like these leave you with a memory that you can reflect on. That’s what you want your clients to leave with, a positive experience that they’ll remember, drawing them back to your business.
To provide the best customer experience possible, make sure you and your staff are not just looking for a sale. Be personable, honest and transparent with the information you provide your customers. You’re the professional, offer your insight but don’t overpromise. Overpromising or false information can not only put you into a hard-legal situation but also decrease your number of customers. An unhappy customer tells an average of 15 people of their poor experience, creating negative buzz around your company.
Customers don’t just go back to businesses where they know they’re valued but also where they can get something back from the company. Offering a customer loyalty or customer appreciation program is an excellent way to show your customers they’re valued.
Many businesses offer some loyalty/appreciation programs such as punch cards or percentage off, but you need to find something personal to your business. It could be a small gift with your business logo at Christmas, or a designated “Customer Appreciation Day” filled with free food and activities, making a great opportunity for you to bond and build your relationships with the clients.
Grow with the IEDA
As your business grows, IEDA and its members will be there for you with quality used equipment. They will help keep more money in your pocket and offer support after the sale. IEDA members are small business owners, too and know how important it is to do right by you — the customer.
IEDA members grow through their customer relationships, by taking the time to follow-up with clients to make sure they are fully satisfied. They offer great customer support for almost all problems that arise; and if they don’t have an answer for you, they will find it or point you in the right direction.
Find IEDA members in your area by visiting the IEDA member directory.