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5 Tips for Digital Interactions with Clients

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5 Tips for Digital Interactions with Clients

Digital communication options are boundless. Here’s how to use them while keeping a human touch. 

By By Jim Barbes October 8, 2018
tips for digital interactions with remodeling and home improvement clients
This article first appeared in the October 2018 issue of Pro Remodeler.

Technology plays a greater role than ever in a company’s success, but there needs to be a healthy balance between technology and the human touch. Here are a few tips to create the right mix with your customers.

1] Establish Clear Guidelines 

By the time you end a first meeting with a client, it should be abundantly clear how both parties will communicate going forward.

Whether your customers want daily phone updates or prefer messages via your CRM system, clarity and consistency are key. To that end, it’s important to set company-wide standards. Make sure each team member is aware of homeowner preferences and abides by them.

2] Keep Some Flexibility

While you want to establish a  uniform standard, do your best to accommodate customer preferences. Some may prefer all phone calls, while others may only want digital interactions. Customizing the process for each project not only personalizes the experience, but creates an opportunity to explore improvements in your current company standard.

Say, for example, you notice a pattern across several projects during which customers opt out of communicating by phone, and instead only want to be contacted through email or text. That might be worth exploring in order to determine whether it’s a viable change to the company standard or just a blip on the radar.

If a client is resistant to a new tech solution, take the time to explain how it works and why you've chosen it. 

3] Eliminate Generic Responses

This is particularly important for initial contact with prospects. Rather than deploying a message template, customize your outreach. Use your CRM database to personalize email correspondence with the customer’s name or project title. Curate and create content that delivers on their needs, and deploy it consistently each time you contact them. Taking the extra step can go a long way in reminding clients they’re valued.

Once you understand your client’s preferences, increase efficiency by scheduling automated messages through your CRM.

4] Add a (Non-tech) Personal Touch

While CRMs are highly efficient, nothing beats personal interaction. Even if a client prefers text or email, find a way to personalize your communications. If that means asking about a client’s recent work trip or kid’s baseball game, do it. It takes time to build long-term relationships with clients, so make the effort necessary to sustain them.

5] Explain Your Chosen Tech

Apprehension around technology often comes from a lack of understanding. If a client is bucking your new technology solution, take the time to explain how it works, and why you’ve chosen it. Chances are, they’ll agree with your decision.

Communication is a learning process and can always be improved, especially with the high-speed growth of available technology. No matter the method, maintaining consistent contact, leveraging technology for your unique business, and keeping people at the core of all you do will help you ensure ongoing success. 

written by

Jim Barbes

Jim Barbes is the vice president of national sales for 84 Lumber, the nation’s leading privately held supplier of building materials, manufactured components, and services for single- and multi-family residences and commercial buildings.

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