In the building business, in-person communication has always been a vital component in talking to potential clients in a personable, efficient way. With social distancing disrupting common business practices, like in-person meetings, building professionals have had to pivot plans to adjust to the current landscape while maintaining a steady stream of business.
With this, LP caught up with LP® BuildSmart™ Preferred Contractor Program Master-Level Members Kyle Miller of All Around Construction and Steve Kruse of The Kruse Brothers to gather insights around how to effectively communicate with prospective customers with social distancing in mind. Check out their top three tips:
Communicate Your Business Approach: Both Miller and Kruse agree that to maintain business, your first priority should be to proactively communicate how your business is addressing safety and how you are adapting your business model to take social distancing into account to both current and potential customers.
Miller suggests, "Be sure to communicate that you are still open for business, and that you are taking measures to show that you care for your customers' safety. We send every new prospective customer a copy of our Safe Consultation Guidelines and gauge their level of comfort around in-person meetings on our initial phone call. It's been extremely effective in maintaining customer confidence."
Similarly, Kruse and his brother Randy, together the co-owners of The Kruse Brothers, created a response guide specific to COVID-19 to proactively address potential customer safety concerns. He explains, "As a builder, it is important to stress the value of your customers by letting them know their health and well-being is a priority. My brother and I created a safety response guide that outlines the specific precautions we are taking to ensure the safety and comfortability of our customers."
Utilize Digital Communications Tools: Integrating digital tools as their primary form of communication has been essential to Miller’s and Kruse’s businesses, helping them to perform virtual meetings and host virtual events. They have helped to keep projects moving and maintain face-to-face interaction as a priority when talking to potential customers.
Miller says, "I recommend utilizing Zoom or another platform for initial new customer calls. Once you've landed the project, opt for video conferences over phone calls to review your selected exterior siding materials, your company playbook, the project estimate and any other details related to the project in order to maintain a more personal connection and answer questions efficiently in real time."
While Kruse also suggests utilizing video conferences for business, he also recommends considering hosting virtual events to keep in touch with current and attract new customers. He says, “Steve and I have been contacting customers and inviting them to fun social distancing events, like Zoom happy hours or tailgate parties. If you host events like these, you can also use them as an opportunity to showcase your preferred exterior siding materials. For instance, we chat through the new offerings and the benefits of LP® SmartSide® Trim & Siding that we feel make it the one of the most durable siding options on the market since we can’t demo it in person.”
Regularly Maintain Social Media as Communication Vehicle: Miller and Kruse recommend optimizing your social channels with the increased time potential customers are spending on these platforms. Beyond promoting your business, they say social media can also be used to create conversations by sharing creative, compelling videos.
Miller suggests, "With the extra time, take tutorials around how to promote Facebook posts to homeowners in specific areas to attract the right customers. To gain more exposure organically on Facebook, ask your employees, friends, family, or existing loyal customers to 'Like' and 'Share' your Facebook posts." To promote your company's attention to safety, Miller adds, "Post videos of your company performing work at a safe distance."
When it comes to social posts, Kruse says that creativity is key. "Create new video footage using drones and virtual walk-throughs of model homes, new builds or renovations. To create a 'distancing' feel, use features like 'pull back' or 'swoosh' when filming. This will also catch the attention of prospective customers scrolling through their social feeds."
Looking for more professional perspectives around how to navigate COVID-19 as a building business owner? Check out our latest blog featuring advice on how to maintain preparedness featuring interviews with five building professionals.
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