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Boost Customer Satisfaction with Better Communication

Boost Customer Satisfaction with Better Communication header

We’ve all worked on projects where every interaction with a customer is tense, any sound coming from your phone makes your stomach jump, and the clock seems to be ticking backward.

More often than not, there’s one reason it got to this place: Communication. Or lack thereof. 

Here are five strategies, along with a few features in our app, to boost your communication skills and reduce the number of awkward, difficult conversations on each project.

1. Define Your Process

Like with any business process — sales, production, billing — you need to define how your customer communication looks, feels, and operates in your ideal world.

Your process needs to include both internal and external communication, so consider questions like these to help you build it out:

  • How often will you communicate? This answer heavily depends on the scope and scale of projects.

  • How will you communicate with clients? Choose if you’ll provide your clients with text, email, phone, or in-person updates.

  • Where will you communicate internally? Depending on team size, you may need more than a group chat.

  • What are internal communication expectations? Determine how often employees and teams need to provide updates to owners and managers.

  • How will you escalate communication? Decide your chain of command and who can sign off on what.

Why it matters: By thinking things through before projects begin, you can be more proactive and identify snags before they happen. Once you’re comfortable with this, use it as a standard across your org and every project so that it’s easier to set expectations with your clients and teammates who communicate with clients.

2. Set Expectations (and Meet Them)

Uncommunicated expectations kill good working relationships. That’s why sharing your communication preferences, providing timelines, and outlining payment/​change order processes is essential.

This will protect your boundaries, help avoid scope creep, and give your customers confidence in knowing how and when you’ll update them. Be sure to outline:

  • Who will be the point of contact. Give customers confidence in knowing who they can go to if they have any questions or concerns.

  • What hours you can be reached. Choose the hours at which you/​your office can be reached and outline any after-hour upcharge policies.

  • What your typical reply time is. Set standards around how quickly customer messages should receive a response.

Why it matters: Communication and consistency go a long way in building trust between you and your client. Outlining your process eliminates all misunderstandings, and being upfront and transparent about your communication helps you close deals.

3. Document Everything

Document and log everything while you’re on the job site. Documentation not only helps you CYA when it comes to disputes, but it’s also a good practice that sets you up to market and sell yourself on future jobs.

The local news and home improvement shows have trained homeowners to think that most contractors are trying to pull a fast one on them. These photos provide you and your customer with a shared reality of what is happening on the job, making it easier for you to have difficult conversations about additional repairs and budget needs.

How to do it: Set a goal for the number of photos you want on each job. One contractor we spoke with requires his team members to take eight photos daily to get them in the habit of taking pictures.

📲 CompanyCam’s Checklists are a great way to ensure you get photos of everything you want and need on every job. Put your SOP into a checklist and watch your team work on it from anywhere.

4. Educate Clients

You might have mixed feelings about this one. But, it is important to educate clients throughout the project because it helps you both communicate effectively in a shared language.

You don’t need to put together a syllabus and quiz them, but there are a couple of easy things you can do:

  • Develop resources on your website. Outline your project process, answer FAQs, and highlight the software and products you work with to show off your experience.

  • Share as you work. Provide periodic photo updates, complete walkthroughs, and share notes from the field to keep your clients in the loop.

  • Encourage questions. And ask questions of your clients. Unasked/​unanswered questions have the habit of turning into tense conversations later.

Why it matters: By providing educational materials and opportunities, your leads will self-select to work with you, and current customers will be confident in your work — and tell your future patrons about your above-and-beyond customer service.

📲 CompanyCam has a ton of communication tools you can use to educate your users. Providing more hands-off clients with a timeline link may be enough. For more involved clients, you can use video walkthroughs and create Pages to share more frequent, detailed updates.

5. Automate, Automate, Automate

To make your communication scalable and effective, you must automate as much as possible.

Many CRM programs allow you to set up automated email and text campaigns to provide appointment reminders and follow up on unpaid balances. The time it takes to set up these campaigns in your CRM will easily be 3x the effectiveness of doing these one at a time.

These are the most critical customer email/​text messages you should automate:

  • Website form submission. Thank your lead for filling out the form on your site.

  • Appointment booked. Clearly outline when you’ll be there.

  • Payment reminder. Allow the CRM to remind your customer about their upcoming bill.

  • Ask for reviews. Ask for a review of your work to help your next customer find you.

📲If you don’t use a CRM (but use CompanyCam), you can set up simple integrations with your Google Calendar and add customers to those calendar invites and holds so that they can know when to expect you.

Becoming a better proactive communicator internally and externally will strengthen your business as an employer and a leader in your trade.

If you have any useful communication tips, consider joining our Customer Advisory Board and sharing your insights with other users like you!

Christian is known round these parts as the silent wizard — whipping out editing, researching, and strategizing skills like it’s nobody’s biz. As a Content Strategist, he stays busy assisting our Product and Activation/​Retention teams with all their content needs — all while staying as quiet as possible. (Heaven forbid he’d talk too much.) 

After work, Christian can be found hanging out with his beautiful wife Ruth, playing catch with his dog Sunday, rewatching that one Indian reality TV episode he starred in (#famous), or making dumb vides on his fine. Go on, Christian. Share your work with the class.

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