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Building Customer Loyalty

The construction process is becoming increasingly collaborative. Lots of people in your organization play key roles, and more of your people contribute, for good or bad, to the customer experience.


What does it take to succeed? An e-book titled, “How Best in Class Companies Build Customer Loyalty,” put it this way: “Loyal customers are born out of consistently excellent engagements: everything ‘clicked’ in that first meeting, and everyone who has worked with their account since has provided the same great experience.”


Do you click with customers from the first planning meeting to the final topping out? Do customers find you easy and enjoyable to work with? Does your team act in unison?


Let’s talk about it.

It’s a Journey

Customer loyalty is cultivated over time. You can’t always be trying to sell people. Instead, you want to make the process of working with you enjoyable and easy from the start. This may involve a change in thinking on your part.


“Because the customer journey is generally viewed as linear, team workflows and KPIs (key performance indicators) are designed to measure the efficiency of individual interactions and how these help move the customer through a particular team’s funnel,” says the above-mentioned e-book.


In other words, people must do more than perform within separate work silos. For example, your foreman on one job may lead a crew in closing out a floor. He completed a task. But has he been trained to perform beyond that task? Will he think, “My work is done today”? Or, will he summon to mind the big picture: “Our work is done, but before we leave what else can we do for the customer?”


Remember, your customer realizes value differently than you. They see the framing of a floor as it fits within the project timeline. They see, or they hope to see, the fulfillment of the architect’s design intent. They want to see all wall and ceiling issues resolved by your team. Do they?

Some Directives

Many industry executives put thought into communicating with employees. They remind their managers and crews that everyone serves as company ambassadors. Here are some directives that can help propagate that mindset to more of your team:


1.    Invite foremen to your pre-con meetings.


2.    Resolve ambiguous construction plans.


3.    Emphasize high-quality work.


4.    Keep the same crew on the job throughout the project.


5.    Provide safety training.


6.    Finish everything you start.


7.    Be courteous and kind.


Talk to every framer, mechanic, taper and finisher. Ask them about the best way to build structures. Then, listen. For the most part in this industry, the means and methods of work have not changed. There are new products and technologies. But employee engagement influences the customer experience more so than material choices. Get everyone onboard with that goal. The key is to listening to your people. That’s how you strengthen the customer relationship, deliver consistent value and drive customer loyalty.

Being Best in Class

Today’s projects are complicated. Teams have to step in early during the design process to bid effectively. Many projects call for prefabricated, panelized walls and flooring systems, and those will need accurate site measurements and confirmations well ahead of their manufacture. Production teams need to reserve scaffolds and lifts, work among other trades and piles of materials, understand high-tech layout tools and more.


It’s not an easy to build walls and ceilings. Yet your customers will expect nothing less than a best-in-class experience.


“Best-in-class companies identify and fix the areas where there is most likely to be a communication breakdown and focus their efforts on ensuring expectations are consistent across teams,” the e-book says.


Do you have areas you need to fix?

  • Unnecessary workflow steps?

  • Communication roadblocks?

  • Internal messaging problems?

  • Team members shy about interacting with customers?

  • Not always doing what you said you would do?

You can shore them up. If you do, you will achieve a best-in-class experience. And your customers will always want to work with your firm.

Mark L. Johnson writes for the wall and ceiling industry. He can be reached via

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