Written by Perryn Olson, President & COO of Brand Constructors

Many times when I talk about your customers' experiences in construction to an older professional, their eyes start to roll into the back of their head, or they tell me that is just for consumer stuff like retail stores and restaurants. Well, it is for B2B (Business-to-Business) companies too, including construction companies. 

Picture your client's interactions with you company from their perspective. If they were wooed and wowed by your business development and marketing team, they probably would expect a similar treatment from your project management and field team. Instead, your client gets delays, work change orders, rising material cost, unanswered voicemails, no response from emails, and their job site looks like a mess. This disconnect is bad. Because of that bad experience, that client is never coming back to your construction company; no matter how good the business development and marketing teams are at their jobs. Most likely, that client will blacklist your company and tell 10+ people to do the same. (This reason will also cause your best business developers to leave too.)

If the client gets the opposite treatment, such as open lines of communication, proactive updates, and minimal work change orders due to his own doing (scope creep), then you probably have a client for life. 

The experience makes the difference. It might not be as noticeable in construction as it is in a restaurant or retail store, but the experience matters and it cost more to fix too. A typical customer to a retailer may be worth a few thousand dollars of their lifespan while a single construction project can net millions. 

If you see your company churning customers over and over like a turnstile, then look at the experience. Customers will pay more for a good experience because they don't want to find someone new, and they really don't want to go through the bidding process because it is hard on them too. This reason is why good construction companies get negotiated work, and poor performing construction companies have to battle it out for the lowest bid. 

Perryn Olson, president and COO of ABC member, Brand Constructors, holds the designation of Certified Construction Marketing Professional (CCMP) from the Construction Marketing Association and the Certified Professional Services Marketer (CPSM) from the Society of Marketing Professional Services). He currently serves on the board of SMPS Southeast Louisiana and is the past president of Executive Connections, a business networking organization in New Orleans.