Contractors who alleviate customer concerns and stress to improve their experience can gain valuable word-of-mouth referrals and earn lucrative, long-term client relationships. Here are five ways to do so, while also deriving other contracting business benefits.
Leverage Digital Automation
Customers want reassurance that contractors adhere to COVID-19 health and safety protocols. With that in mind, offer touchless digital payment methods that require no face-to-face interaction. A well-designed payment platform can encompass not just touch-free payments but also touchless estimates, bids, invoices, and receipts. PCI-compliant security features will protect sensitive data, and documentation can be automatically archived with off-site cloud backup. From there it can be instantly searchable and used to generate customized reports. Those can then be electronically shared with clients, architects, accountants, and construction loan lenders.
Train Employees in Customer Service
Clients love knowing that they can pick up the phone whenever they have a question and receive a prompt, informed answer. But it’s often difficult for contractors to free-up team members to take those important calls. Automation solves that problem by helping to significantly reduce busy work. Streamline the time-wasting tasks, then designate team members who are good with people to act as responsive customer service contacts. That delivers a tremendous competitive advantage over other contractors, because it measurably upgrades the customer experience.
Offer Flexible Payment Options
Contracting businesses can similarly automate their payment systems to give customers more control of their finances and budgets. A full-featured payment processing platform can support electronic repayment plans managed by the customer, as well as recurring payment plans for clients who use contractor services on a monthly or quarterly basis. By providing a variety of flexible payment options, contractors build client trust and rapport and improve customer relations. They also ensure that they always get paid faster, without the unwanted annoyance of having to repeatedly remind the customer.
Accept Mobile Payments
Just as contractors let more work done by using mobile devices that allow them to communicate while on the road or at a jobsite, the same is true of their customers. Contractors who want to enhance the customer experience should use mobile technology to engage those customers where they live and work. Give clients the flexibility and convenience they enjoy, by utilizing a payment system that accepts secure payments 24/7, from any smartphone, tablet, or other mobile device.
Most contractors calculate what they pay to companies like VISA and MasterCard in the form of merchant or “card swipe” fees. Then they raise their prices across the board, to recoup those costs. But clients who do not pay by credit card may feel that such an approach is unfair to them. Surcharging is a completely fair and transparent solution to improve the customer’s experience. Just use a payment system that includes surcharging plug-in software to automatically reduce credit card processing fees to zero. Contractors who do so retain every penny they invoice by paying no swipe fees, so they don’t have to inflate their project prices. That immediately and substantially boosts profit margins on every credit card transaction, forever.