Once upon a time, our definition of “fast” meant overnight FedEx deliveries. People were even willing to pay premium for that kind of service. But the thing is, customers no longer want “fast”.
In a word where Google offers answers to just about any question within the span of a few blinks, where you can easily download an app if the need arises, where high-speed networks are the norm… your business has to keep up!
The web and the latest advancements in technology have conditioned us into thinking that we can get what we want, whenever we want, wherever we may be (as long as there’s good signal).
So of course, clients expect you to be an on-demand homebuilder, an on-demand project manager. They demand responsiveness. After all, building a home is probably one of their biggest investments ever. An immensely critical decision. Something that is circling their minds 24×7.
So how will you address it? Email takes forever. Voicemail takes too long. People are even developing aversion to phone calls. These days, people would much rather text, chat, Viber, Whatsapp, Snapchat, and so on. Digital conversations. Conversations that immediately go back and forth.
This becomes very tricky for builders because we all know that our clients don’t necessarily understand the meaning of “business hours”. Out-of-office communication for us has long been the norm. Today, they just want it done much, much quicker.
File-sharing apps and websites have become prevalent in recent years. Clients want quick access to files. And in addition, these files have to be within reach on different devices. If you’re talking about revisions or changes in the design, they want to be able to see it whether they’re on their phone, tablet, laptop or desktop.
When a client ask you about the progress of their home, you have to be able to answer confidently almost instantly (more so if you are face to face). Taking too long will hurt your credibility. Giving vague answers will plant doubts in your client’s mind. As a responsible homebuilder, you should incorporate effective project management tools in your business, so that answers are readily available to you in just a few clicks. Since your customers demand information fast, you have to prepare accodingly.
One of best tools for this is SAM - The Superintendent’s Automated Manager. SAM will veer you away from messy and complicated paper schedules, ensuring that everything is digitized, editable and quickly within reach. It will help you to keep key personnel updated on project milestones, as well as with schedule changes. You can input tasks, deliveries and meetings in SAM, and even get project reports at the push of a button.
Keep up and Stay Ahead
Technology is ever-changing and customers are getting more demanding. If you don’t evolve with them, your company will get left behind. So today put yourself in the shoes of your clients and imagine how they crave and ask for information. And always remember that these days, just “fast” is no longer acceptable.