Service and Your Construction Business

Service is the way you set your construction business apart.

Service is paramount

Service is what distinguishes your construction company from the others. You know it is true. Those working for you should know it’s true – but some won’t.

And, the sad part is, some of those who offer up poor service while representing your construction business will be the loudest protestors when they receive poor service elsewhere. Some people just ain’t got no manners! 😲

Just as Supreme Court justice, Potter Stewart could, while explaining pornography, say, “I know it when I see it,” we all know excellent service when we see it.

When you develop a company culture which goes beyond “be nice” you develop a company both potential clients and potential employees will seek out.

Let me put that another way. When your construction business is built on integrity, dignity, and courtesy clients will want to work with you and tradesmen will want to work for you.

Service is more than a word

It is an attitude. Passing on an attitude of excellent service to your employees and subs is your only defense from poor-service-syndrome. Be clear. Make sure everyone who represents your construction business (and uh, that means everyone in your employ or under your supervision) understands this is a bottom line issue.

Think about it, the thing your clients are most likely to remember is the direct interaction they have with you and those who represent your company.

Bad service example

Sometimes you can see it headed your way. Sometimes you’re blindsided.

Recently, my son-in-law made an appointment to have his truck serviced by the dealership where he purchased it. He showed up at the appointed time only to find he wasn’t on the schedule. Although that was an irritating moment it could have been soothed over in a number of ways.

But. It. Wasn’t!

Rather than saying, “Oh no, we’re sorry, we made a mistake,” the answer was “You didn’t make an appointment.” When my son-in-law used his phone record to prove he had indeed made an appointment the follow up answer was delivered dead-pan (with no emotion) and went like this, “You’re not on the schedule, we can’t fit you in, you’ll have to make an appointment.” While that last statement was (in all likelihood) true, it was also an example of customer service gone awry.

Good service example

This one is easy. It is what we typically receive on any given day and at any given business. You’re greeted when you approach the clerk. Someone asks if you want your items packaged a certain way. The wait-staff offers a refill on your drink before it is empty. You’re asked where you can be directed to find what you want. You transact your business and you move on.

You’re neither angry, nor inspired to write a glowing review of the great service you just received. It is normal. Almost every person or business rises to the level of good service.

Exceptional service example

Disney.

You’ve heard it before and from your own experience have likely encountered the exceptional service provided by Disney employees. I mean, just think, they even have the Disney Institute where business owners and organizations go to learn about providing exceptional service. How cool is that?

Oh, by the way, here is something that should be near and dear to the heart of every construction contractor – safety is the first priority when employees are being trained in “the Disney way.” I didn’t know that, did you?

Good and exceptional service compared

Good – A few weeks ago, I was with the family at a bar-b-que restaurant where I noticed my grandchildren had chosen side dishes of macaroni and cheese. It looked good to me and I commented on it. A few minutes later one of the wait staff put a small, plastic container in front of me with enough mac and cheese in it for me to decide that, yes, I would order a dish for myself.

Exceptional – Not too long ago, several family members gathered at Disney World for a reunion. One of the family members noticed that another of the group had a bowl of soup which looked good to her. She mentioned to the person eating it she would like to try it sometime. Within minutes a bowl of the soup was placed in front of her by a member of the wait staff courtesy of Disney.

Both were small gifts, one was simply better than the other.

Develop or update your service policy

Pay attention when you’re with your clients. Solicit their feedback before, during, and after each project. Ask questions. Try to understand their needs and goals and then do your best to make them your own.

Be prepared to always step to the plate. Never wait, hide, or sugar coat a problem. No matter how bad it is, deal with all issues with honesty and integrity. After addressing a problem, be ready with a solution. Let your client know how your team will deal with the problem. Your reputation depends on it.

Empower your employees with a flexible  approach. Devise guidelines for your team members that allow plenty of freedom to handle customers on a case-by-case basis. Include information concerning priority solutions and “go-to” fixes for common problems. Define the service principles and standards which guide all interactions within your construction business.

Service givens

Providing excellent service is a matter of having good excellent manners.

You and everyone working for you are a part of your Service Department.

Customer service supersedes skill levels and product delivery.

Poor service on any level reflects on every level.

Your employees will only work to the level of your personal standard.

You can take your place on our waiting list by getting in touch here. Simply state you want to be added to the list.

JOBBER: Business Management Solution for Field Service Companies

 

At Schulte and Schulte, our passion is in working with any company that fits under the construction umbrella.  This includes construction service businesses like plumbers, HVAC techs, roofers, landscape techs, etc.  Some of the apps that have been, and will be, featured in this blog series are feature filed and do have elements that would be beneficial to construction service businesses.  However, we feel strongly about finding an app or software solution for each of our clients, and this month’s featured app, Jobber, is a great solution for anyone in the construction service industry.

 

 

 

Jobber is geared toward any company that focuses on construction field service. It is a comprehensive business management solution that will aid any small to medium-sized construction service company. There are three main areas that we’d like to focus on as we dig into this app: Client Features, Team Features, and Business Features.

Client Features
Jobber has some features that will impress your clients and help keep your client information organized. It has an excellent customer relationship management (CRM) tool to keep your client’s information and communication organized. As you communicate with your different clients, whether by sending a quote, getting an e-signature, or reminders to follow up with clients, Jobber keeps track of all communication and saves it in each specific client’s file to help keep you as a construction service business owner more organized.

Team Features
These Team Features integrate both the Jobber computer software as well as their mobile app, which is available for both tablet and phone on iOS and Android. Included are various tools like Scheduling that allows you as the construction service business owner to easily create new jobs for clients and assign them to your team with only a few clicks; Map View Routing that will automatically send notice to your team as they are out in the field giving them the information that they need to get to and work the next job; and GPS Tracking so that you get a clear picture of where your team is at throughout the day as well as tracking employee hours and labor costs.

Business Features
Jobber gives you the ability to send out customized invoices so that you are in control of what your clients see on their invoices. It also has the option included of accepting payment for service right at the jobsite. Also included are Reports that provide a bird’s eye view of how your construction service business is doing, Time Tracking that makes it easy to review and complete payroll, and Accounting Sync that seamlessly integrates with QuickBooks Online to assist with your monthly bookkeeping.

We love Jobber, and would love the opportunity to share it with you. If this sounds like an app that you would be interested in checking out, please let us know!