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5 Ways Construction Professionals Can Improve Client Relations

Maintaining a solid reputation for top customer service in every project you manage is essential to staying ahead of your competition. Review these tips to make sure you’re doing everything you can to attract and retain top clients — and if not, see how simple it is to work these best practices into your daily routine.

1. Get some face time.

Face it: You’d love to talk to clients in person rather than communicate via voicemails or emails. But is it nearly impossible to have time and resources to meet face to face? If so, you’re potentially depriving your company of beneficial partnerships.

Fortunately, technology advancements have made it possible for people to get the face time they need — even if they’re not in the same room. A professional HD video conferencing software solution on your office computer or mobile devices will let you see and hear your clients immediately, no matter how far away they are. You can even set it up to share your screen with others and vice versa, making remote collaboration seem just as intimate as being in the same room for a meeting.

2. Go mobile.

Fact: Contractors are spending more time managing projects from their smartphones and tablets. The more you can do for your customers when they’re outside the office — or when you’re not at your desk — the more they’ll appreciate your efforts.

For example, this means you should make sure you and your colleagues can view project bid updates sent out in the field for a quick review and note any changes needed. If you can’t provide fast feedback, the delay in response can create tension and confusion. These days, you need to be able to review plans and submittals anywhere 24/7 to meet clients’ expectations.

3. Share files simply and quickly

For optimal collaboration, everyone needs convenient access to project files so updates occur fast and consistently. There’s not only a delay in time using email or FTP to share renderings and other documents — there’s a real likelihood that if it’s a large file size, you’ll need to break down the files into smaller parts to send them to clients to put them back together. Not exactly the best customer experience.

To resolve this, add a cloud-based file-sharing solution that’s reliable and quick to use and can hold an unlimited number of your specs, plans and renderings without needing backup. It should let you share large project files in one piece from your web portal or Microsoft Outlook account; note changes and when they happen; automatically sync the latest files to everyone’s devices; and retrieve previous versions that existed even four weeks earlier. With the right professional file-sharing solution, you’ll be making project deadlines while fulfilling the needs of everyone involved.

4. Make signing documents simple.

Wasting time tracking down clients to sign approvals on projects, contracts or other documents? With electronic signatures, you simply upload a document, email it to recipients, have them review and sign it, and it returns to you automatically. That’s all!

A legally binding e-signature avoids missing or incomplete fields in contracts, proposals and more. Users follow a guided signing process to fill out required form fields that makes it virtually mistake proof. Signature pad, type-to-sign and touchscreen interfaces allow your clients to sign documents just like writing by hand.

E-signatures let you close deals in minutes and track when someone has viewed and signed your document. Your clients no longer wait on faxes or deliveries of paper copies, and they know exactly where to sign — even if multiple signatures are required. It’s that simple.

5. Expect good customer service in return.

Doing business is a two-way street. Just as you’ve established high professional standards, the software services and tools you choose should reflect similar professionalism.

Start with your initial interaction:

• How simple is it for you and your staff to learn how the tool?

• How well does it integrate with your existing systems?

• Is training available if needed, and how much will that cost you in additional time and money?

Then consider ongoing operations with that client’s products or services:

• Is customer care available to assist you 24/7 when you have problems with a mission-critical project?

• Can they handle your needs as your firm expands?

You need to work with the best in order to progress successfully with your projects. Expect services and software that claim to be helping you to deliver quality products from signup onward.

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