As mortgage rates rise and housing demand eases, a slowdown in new construction projects becomes increasingly likely. While you wait for the pendulum to swing back, it’s a great time to focus on an area you probably neglect when things are busy: your business’s back office.
Not only will modernizing your business make things more streamlined in the future, it will help you create and sustain better relationships with your clients.
Today’s consumers expect to connect with you digitally and through a variety of online outlets, from Google searches to website chatbots to Facebook messaging. Will your clients and prospects be able to connect with you there? If not, it’s time to get digital.
Digital workflows will also help you and your crew organize jobs and communicate more seamlessly. You can use individual programs to do these jobs, or opt for an all-in-one platform to keep everything centralized. Here are five areas to focus on first:
- Customer and Contact Data
A customer relationship management (CRM) tool will help you keep all of your customer and prospect information in one place. Unlike an unruly spreadsheet, a CRM enables you to tag and track your customers based on the services they choose. Then, it’ll be easier than ever to find them, communicate with them and offer upsell opportunities when the time is right.
- Appointment Scheduling
If there’s just one digital element you implement, let it be online appointment scheduling that syncs with your crew’s calendar. You can do this from your website, through your Google Business Profile or on some social media channels, such as Facebook. By allowing clients to book meetings and consultations with you through these digital channels, you can avoid the hassles of playing phone tag and keeping a manual calendar.
- Customer Communication
Once your appointments are set, you’ll want to have an easy and hands-free way to send reminders. The right marketing automation software will allow you to send reminders and follow-ups automatically through text message or email. With your CRM in place, you’ll be able to see all of these efforts in one place, so you always know where you stand with your customers.
- Estimates, Invoicing and Payments
If you’re still handwriting estimates, photocopying invoices and only accepting checks for payments, you’re working in the dark ages. Today’s customers not only want you to email estimates, but many also want invoices sent via text and the ability to pay you from their smartphone. A modern payment processing service will help you do all of this, while keeping your money and accounts secure.
- Online Presence and Social Media
Ready to find new customers? They’re likely already looking for your services online. Ensure that all of your listings and profiles are up-to-date and accurate. That includes: Google Business Profile, Yelp, Facebook and anywhere else they could find you. And while you’re updating those profiles, add new images and information about your business, and respond to every comment and review – negative or positive. Potential clients will see you engaging, which will build credibility while boosting the visibility of your pages.
To learn about the tools that can help your construction business streamline day-to-day operations, visit Thryv.com.