GUEST BLOG. David Crick MCIM, from Contractors Marketing Services, explains why we shouldn’t neglect the little things that deliver a good customer experience.
In a recent blog post I wrote about how to develop your corporate image and shape a brand that will win you work. It’s important to be able to identify yourself clearly as a company through your logo and your design, and apply it consistently through everything you do.
Most importantly, invest in the basic tools of marketing. One ignores these at one’s peril, because future business depends on them. First impressions count, and potential clients may be noticing your business for the first time from a passing van or a sign on a scaffold. A friend may recommend you, and they will look up your website. That first impression needs to be positive and reassuring.
Bigger companies are going to want to look at a high quality glossy brochure. Since the price depends on how many you print, smaller companies might not find them cost effective at smaller volumes. If you find yourself wincing at the unit price of a high end brochure, prioritise the website instead.
The internet has dozens of places where you can build a website for free, and some of these are very effective. But don’t go there unless you have the experience to make it look great. If a website looks cheap and amateur, you may accidentally communicate that you’re a company that is satisfied with cheap and amateur work – a ‘that’ll do’ sort of firm rather than one that takes pride in a job well done. So get the professionals in, make something clearly branded and uncluttered. Think hard about the menu, and keep the number of pages to a minimum so that it’s easy for people to find what they need. Make sure you’re best work is showcased. Get some case studies designed nicely as downloads – these can be emailed to prospective clients too, so they’re worth doing well.
Along with your communications materials, think about how you are going to work your corporate image into the way you deal with people. You want clients to have a positive experience of your company from the first time they get in touch, right through to the last if you value repeat business. That means you need staff ‘on message’ about the type of organisation you want to be. That begins with the receptionist, who is in many ways the most important person in the office! They’re the front line of your marketing department. You want someone friendly, knowledgeable and well briefed. If a potential client feels that they and their business are valued from the first phone call, you’re off to a good start.
Every member of staff matters here. Do people answer queries promptly? Are you easy to get hold of? Do they turn up when they say they will? Are clients kept up to date? Is everyone getting along on site? Make sure everyone in your team knows that the way they act matters to the organisation. It sounds basic, and it is – but I bet you’ve worked with companies that haven’t got this right. Make sure your business isn’t one of them!
Download the CMS Really Useful Guide to Construction Marketing.
If you’re a member of the CIOB, you can read it as part of your continuing professional development.
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