Building Customer Trust Through the Products You Specify
by Bob Hasulak, Partner & Director of Operations, QuickFrames
Businessman and speaker Zig Ziglar once famously said, “If people like you, they’ll listen to you, but if they trust you, they’ll do business with you.” He’s right, and there are nearly endless statistics to back up this idea, like the fact that more than 80% of consumers consider trust a deciding factor in their buying decisions. Not only is trust key for doing business once, but it’s also essential for establishing and maintaining long-term customer relationships.
So, how do structural engineers earn trust? One way is through more obvious means like having integrity and delivering quality services. However, you can also gain or lose customer trust by how you choose to specify products. Here’s how.
Specifying Construction Products
Some engineers stick with the status quo on plans for commercial or industrial buildings, while others are willing to learn about (and then specify) new alternatives. Consider steel angle iron roof frames as an example. The status quo for decades, building plans often name angle iron roof frames as the go-to for providing structural support for rooftop units. But, what if there was a better way? (Spoiler alert: there is, and it’s QuickFrames).
All bias aside, the point is that your customers are trusting you to guide them toward the best products and methodologies for their projects, whether unfamiliar or time-tested. They want to save time and money while improving safety and scheduling. Are you giving new products a chance in the hopes that some of them may help your customers achieve these things?
Vetting Companies for Trustworthiness
Of course, if you’re going to specify products, you need to know that the products are high quality and that the companies behind them are, too. Here are some reliable ways to make sure:
> Seek out safety records and, if not public, request them.
> Look at reviews; even though there may be a few outliers on either side of the spectrum, any established company should have a majority of reviews that tell the same story and can be trusted.
> Check out who a company’s customers are. Are they credible brands with excellent safety records of their own? Or are they obscure companies? Or, do they not even list their customers? Along the same lines, look for case studies and testimonials that tell about customer success stories.
> You can also look at the Better Business Bureau’s site. Many companies don’t go through the process of getting accredited, so don’t worry if a company isn’t on there. But, if there are any red flags in their history, you’ll likely find complaints with the BBB.
> See if they have any sort of educational program to help you learn more about their products in a no-obligation setting.
As the old saying goes, trust is earned, not given. You can earn your customers’ trust by staying true to your word – and by looking out for their best interests in terms of the products you specify.