Accessory dwelling units (ADUs) have become the most popular housing solution recently. However, in fact, these units have been known as affordable yet convenient housing for decades. Today, many homeowners are looking for a way to expand their living areas. Since the majority of them have already dealt with renovation or construction before, they do not want to perform all the work needed to construct an ADU on the property themselves. Therefore, more and more people are turning to professionals, including designers and builders, who are capable of implementing even the most complex project and creating a great independent living unit.
Despite the high demand and increased attention of potential customers to this sphere, many companies suffer losses due to poor customer service. Why does it happen? Some inexperienced entrepreneurs who run home-based businesses underestimate the role that high-quality customer service plays in a business's success. Unfortunately, such an irresponsible approach necessarily leads to the formation of a bad reputation and, as a result, the failure of the company engaged in the construction of granny flats.
In this article, we will touch upon the ways to improve customer service and discuss the benefits a home-based company will enjoy after making their business more client-oriented. Keep reading in order to get some invaluable insights about creating a friendly and welcoming atmosphere when communicating with your ADU customers.
If you understand the importance of loyalty relationships with your existing and even potential clients, it will be much easier for you to develop and apply a strategy that will help you win the trust of hundreds of customers. It is especially topical for home-based businesses.
Are you planning to found a modern and fast-growing home-based company, or do you already have one? Then consider creating a welcoming environment in the first place! What we recommend doing to create a positive customer experience and stand out in the industry that is rather crowdy with companies of various sizes is the following:
Do you, as a home-based business owner, want to deliver excellent customer service? Then we recommend that you and your team members think over the communication channels of customers and company representatives in advance. Use as many available communication methods as possible: office visits, phone calls, and online chat on the website. Do not forget that after COVID-19; many people have reduced social interactions to a minimum, so online consultations can also become your advantage over competitors.
We understand that your team may be quite small, and there may not be a separate department whose employees provide communication with clients. However, it is still crucial that you have at least a few managers hired who can always stay in touch with current clients. Building an accessory dwelling unit can be a stressful and challenging process for homeowners. Thus, they should always have an opportunity to contact the representatives of the company and ask any question which causes them anxiety and get a sufficient response right now.
Moreover, building functional communication channels is a mandatory part of attracting new customers. Imagine visiting an ADU contractor's website but being unable to contact a team via an online chat or a phone call. The majority of people will leave the website and will not contact a company when it is unclear how to do that.
For a company to make its customers happy, clear and honest communication is a must. We have already mentioned that, but we want to say it once again since it is also crucial when it comes to managing customers' expectations. Undoubtedly, no one can be 100% sure that a client will be satisfied with the final result. There is always a chance that some personal complaints and dissatisfaction will emerge. However, it is in your power to save the client from unrealistic expectations in advance, which may eventually lead to disappointment.
For example, you have new clients who want to develop an ADU for their parents to live with them on the same land plot. You should first arrange a meeting in your office (even if it is a home-based one) or online to conduct a first consultation. During this meeting, managers and designers have to talk about not only all the benefits of ADUs in selling their services but also possible difficulties that may pop up when building an accessory structure for older adults.
The same applies to the budget of the project. Do not forget to offer all your clients a free estimate service. This way, they will know what exact amount they should expect and, therefore, will not be unpleasantly surprised after the start of the construction process.
When it comes to marketing, increasing sales, and attracting new consumers, the majority of business owners resort to various advertising campaigns, as well as creating the visibility of good results. However, these actions will definitely not be that effective in the long run. If you want a home-based business to develop and grow to become one of the best and most recognizable in the field of ADUs, you will need to improve the customer experience at all stages of cooperation.
For example, the most obvious thing is that all the construction work must be done faultlessly to leave a customer satisfied. Stick to a plan developed in advance and keep an eye on details. At the same time, you cannot simply implement a project without keeping clients updated. Constant honest communication from the beginning to the very end of the project development is what highlights a truly professional company in any market.
In order to save connections with existing customers and attract new ones, it is quintessential to demonstrate the team's dedication. A sincere desire to help clients expand the space at home in order to unite family members or create a place for work or hobbies is an obligatory component of the work of a good company involved in ADU development.
However, if you are willing to build long-term trusting relationships with your clients, you will also need to demonstrate high-quality work, compliance with regulations while building granny flats, as well as the availability of all necessary permits and insurance. These simple actions will show a customer that all the professionals of your team can be trusted and there are no risks that one will eventually face.
We have already mentioned that the best way to deal with customer complaints is to prevent them by providing sufficient information and discussing all the possible problems and solutions in advance before signing a contract and starting the construction process. However, there may be a situation when due to misunderstanding or the difference between the views of designers and customers, a conflict situation arises. What should you do in this case as a business owner?
We recommend that you act according to a particular case. Usually, it is simply inefficient to use some multipurpose techniques that experts may recommend for conflict resolution. The main thing is that you listen to the homeowners' complaints carefully and, if possible, propose to change the situation by providing additional services or making little adjustments to new construction. If adjustment is not possible because of some rules and laws that you cannot violate, it will be time to have an honest conversation with clients to explain the situation to them (once again, it is always better to discuss all the regulations, possible risks, unique features of the site and the future unit in advance).
Let us have a look at an example. According to state law, there is a minimum size of an accessory dwelling unit established. Hence, a contractor cannot build an ADU smaller than it should be. Moreover, there is a maximum size that must be met according to local building codes, too. At the same time, to get all the essential building permits, a contractor must include permanent provisions for everyday activities in a unit. These things cannot be changed because of the wishes and preferences of the client but conflict situations may still arise. Therefore, it is crucial that company representatives take enough time and effort to explain all the legal aspects of ADU construction.
As a service provider, you should be interested in providing privacy for all your clients. There are several important approaches to this. We recommend that you take into account all kinds of security and confidentiality: offline and online security, as well as the feeling of privacy in a future dwelling unit.
Today, there are various ADU solutions presented in the market. While there are people who want a contractor to provide a unique project of an accessory dwelling unit, some homeowners who are willing to expand their living space as fast as possible choose standard ADUs built in factories. In this case, you only need to deliver and assemble the pre-prepared parts of the unit on the site. Regardless of what type of product your customers choose, you still need to provide better customer service than the majority of your competitors do.
Invest enough time to listen to the whole story that a client shares, make an effort to highlight clear desires and needs, and offer unique resolutions. For instance, it may be necessary to arrange special delivery and assembly due to the small size of the road near the house and the site itself.
If your employees make an effort to provide an individual approach to each client and not apply the same standard approach to all cases, the customer's experience will reach a new level. As a result, you will see potential clients line up just for a chance to cooperate with you.
In the case of home-based businesses, a client usually gets to know all members of a small team of professionals who implement their project. Most importantly, a significant part of the client base of such small companies usually consists of neighbors, friends, and other family acquaintances. Hence, you simply cannot let these people down, not only because they may mean a lot to you but also because, in the case of a significant mistake or mistreatment of a client, the rumor about the incompetence of employees spreads extremely quickly.
Thus, creating a base of loyal customers is an extremely important task for any home-based business team. How can you create and support loyalty? Well, there is nothing special and unexpected about it. Simply use all the pieces of advice that we gave you in this article, or try something else that you think will work for your company. Anyway, keep in mind that the success of any business is primarily based on strong long-term customer relationships. If you can gain the trust of the clients and leave them satisfied by fulfilling all their requests and being attentive to all their comments, loyalty will be guaranteed.
In this article, we have discussed many ways to improve customer experience when being engaged in the construction and selling of accessory dwelling units (ADUs). To conclude, we must admit that excellent customer service is something that requires a lot of effort, an individual approach to each specific case, and a willingness to run the extra mile to satisfy your customers. It is never easy to exceed clients' expectations, but it is the one way to become a sought-after company. Moreover, once you do more than enough for your customers, you can enjoy numerous benefits such as an endless stream of new customers, word-of-mouth advertising that does not require investments and huge revenue.
One of the crucial aspects of each company's success is client-company communication. Employees working in the client relations department are engaged in communication with a customer during the whole cooperation in order to help them find particular services, answer all the possible questions, and be the link between customers and professionals. A client relations manager listens to the fears or doubts of a client, sends a request to experts working for the same company, and comes back to a client with feedback.
Relationships with clients are of huge importance to any business. It is not enough to provide exceptional services and high-quality work. Members of a contractor's team should also demonstrate engagement in each client's case and create reliable and long-term communication. The business-client relationship includes all methods that a team uses when communicating with their potential and existing clients. It may be both answering short questions online and analysis of complex cases during a private consultation.
Skills needed for company-client relationships are soft skills that are, however, essential for every modern home-based business. It is exceptional customer service and client relations that make sales grow, and the company thrive. A professional relations manager must have strong listening skills, verbal and written communication abilities, as well as a curious and agile mind to quickly find a solution and an answer to any question of the client's interest and constantly work in a multitasking mode.