5 reasons giving clients your phone number isn’t good enough
There are good construction companies, then there are great construction companies.
So, what separates the cream of the crop from those just not quite at the top? It all comes down to customer communication.
We know what you might be thinking. You’re a communication whiz. There’s nobody that makes themselves more available to customers than you. Hey, your homeowners even have your own cell phone number – they can call you any time!
What could possibly be more personal and preferred than this?!
That might have been good enough a decade ago. Good enough isn’t great though. The digital age has shifted what it means to be pro at both construction and communication. In fact, this era of digital disruption has impacted what homeowners now expect when working with builders, as thoroughly explored in Buildertrend’s’ Digitally Savvy Homeowner Report.
Today, homeowners want more than a personal cell phone number. They want communication portals or apps that are smarter, ensure their messages don’t get lost in a voicemail inbox and are just all around better. You should want better for your business, too.
Here are the top five reasons why giving clients your phone number can’t get the job done when it comes to easy communication.
1) Stuff just gets plain lost
Yikes. There’s nothing worse than the gut-sinking feeling of losing something – especially if that something was important to a client’s build.
Let’s say you’ve got a dozen different clients, each one texting you throughout the day with questions and asking for updates. Then let’s add all the correspondence done between your individual team members. Oh yeah, then there are your subs, too. There could be a dozen of them. That’s everybody, right …. hold up! Let’s not forget the suppliers … mortgage brokers … land developers … accountants …
Yeah, you get the point. That’s a lot of texting for your poor thumbs to do. Getting customer information lost in the shuffle is the last thing you need.
2) Texting as a legal document? Yeah that isn’t a thing
Ahhh, yes. Introduction to Texting for Legally Binding Business Matters. It’s every law student’s favorite class.
Wait. That can’t be right? That’s because it isn’t.
As a builder, you’ve got a lot of capital invested into every project. At the very least, you want to protect yourself – and your bottom line.
Sure, you and a client might have agreed to a change order or proposal over the phone or through messaging, but those methods of communication are about as useful in a court as a game of he-said-she-said. Rarely, but still too often, customers change their mind and don’t want to pay for that change.
A legal signature is more secure than a text. Plain and simple.
3) Lack of boundaries
Good communication starts with clear expectations. Giving out your phone number sets very murky expectations.
Sure, it’s a nice gesture. But do you really want to be responding to homeowners at all hours of the night? Unless it’s an emergency, that update can wait until you’re back in the office or jobsite.
Additionally, after giving out your number, you might be seen as unresponsive if you’re not answering immediately. And this goes beyond a lack of boundaries. It’s a lack of control, too.
Surely, you want to make sure the person owning your projects is you.
4) Communication silos are created
In the words of the great, wise Barney: sharing is caring.
That purple dinosaur knew what he was talking about. Sharing really is caring, especially when it comes to construction projects. If all client information is being shared privately with only the builder on their phone, how is the team going to stay informed?
You might have every intention to parlay all information to the necessary parties, but, as Barney also taught us, nobody is perfect. Need-to-know details may get lost in this communication silo.
5) Software is better. Period.
Don’t get us wrong. We love texting. We think it’s OMG gr-8. But it doesn’t have any place in a place of business.
So, what’s the alternative. Smart construction project management software for builders, contractors and remodelers. We’re talking software like Buildertrend.
Organize all communication by job so stuff doesn’t get lost. Use proposal features to collect real signatures on real legal documents. Set boundaries by keeping every interaction in one, handy place. Give access to your team and subs to keep everyone in the know.
All those pain points we just talked about? Yeah, they’re in the past.
Communication the digitally savvy way
Today’s tech-smart homeowners expect more out of their builders than ever before. Not just meeting but exceeding those needs by putting old practices like handing out your phone number and calling it a day is tough.
It’s hard to know what today’s customers want. Luckily, we already did the leg work for you. For data, survey results, trends and major insights that lead to major client wins, click here to view our Digitally Savvy Homeowner Report.
Read. Learn. Prepare to be wowed.
Document control in construction is critical – here’s why:
Handling multiple projects, processes and procedures leads to endless paperwork. Here’s why it’s critical to take control of your construction documents.
Buildertrend Learning Academy: Level up your project management experience
Ready to become a Buildertrend expert and take your experience to the next level? Head over to the brand new Buildertrend Learning Academy to get started.
Resource Roundup: What to expect going forward
Use these resources to assist you as you learn to expect the unexpected and continue to move forward during the coronavirus pandemic.