How to Create Customer-Driven Project Management for Your Business
When it comes to customer service on project-based jobs, the usual scenario looks something like this. A project manager checks out a job and estimates how long it will take, then gets to work, only communicating with customers — if at all — if something goes wrong or there's a significant delay. The customer is left in the dark, wondering what's going on with the various phases of their projects and becoming irritated when things aren't delivered as promised. These customers want information, but when they don't get any, they often drop off mid-job, leaving the manager holding the bag.
This isn't an ideal situation for anyone involved. Often, though, contractors don't know what to do to fix it. They're already working hard delivering on the actual project and can't find a lot of extra time to communicate each step with the customer. And the customer is stuck feeling like a nuisance whenever they have a question.
Luckily, there's a solution. With a new generation of apps that mirror a contractor's internal processes to the customers, everyone can stay on the same page about a project with minimal hassle, helping you streamline your processes, keep loyal customers, and focus on the part of the job you're most passionate about.
Here are a few ways portals can help you put your customer in the driver's seat.
Keep Stakeholders in the Loop
With a handy mirroring app, you can enter all your progress on everything from home remodels to solar installations and instantly reflect your customers. This helps your customers stay informed with minimal hassle and allows everyone involved — from managers to team members and subcontractors — to follow the workflow, spot issues as they arise, account for other people's progress, and estimate when completion timeframes. This keeps teams and customers happy and does it with minimal hassle, allowing you to take care of two separate tasks in one seamless move.
Allow Integrated, Two-Way Communication
Most contractors are dogged by the nearly constant expectation to stay in touch with customers about different aspects of a job. But with so much going on, it's easy to get behind — and often, messages are stored in other systems, making everything difficult to track and remember. With a portal management app, contractors and clients can communicate via text and email in one place, keeping track of their conversations and getting a whole-picture view of the workflow. And with automation assistance, common messages can be auto-filled and personalized, saving everyone time and contractors money. Informed customers are less likely to churn, more forgiving of delays, and more likely to stay loyal for the long haul.
Offer In-App Referrals and Reviews
It's much easier and less expensive to keep a customer than to find new ones — but why not let happy customers help you recruit new clients? With a portal-based app, you can seamlessly direct satisfied customers to review and referral pages after a job well done, so they can immediately promote you to other prospects. This puts the customer in a position of power, allowing them to give feedback on the process while giving contractors critical information on how to improve their processes in the future. But it's also a built-in advertising platform, giving you an integrated, low-cost option for finding new clients who already trust your reputation for quality work.
Today's customers want to be informed, in charge, and active in project decision-making. An app that combines project mirroring, two-way communication, and referrals and reviews helps give the customers power through information — and helps you save money, time, and sanity doing the administrative work behind the job you love.
Want to try a portal app that helps you build relationships by putting customers in charge? Try PortalCX today.