Recent findings from the FMB's 2023 Q3 State of Trade Survey paint a challenging picture for the building industry: a decrease in total workload and enquiries, particularly in housebuilding and industrial sectors. With 40% of FMB members reporting a drop in enquiries and a noticeable decline in Repair, Maintenance, and Improvement (RMI) workloads, the need to differentiate yourself in the market is more critical than ever.
The FMB membership advantage
As FMB members, you already stand out with your badge of quality. You meet our stringent membership criteria and show professionalism and commitment to the FMB’s Code of Conduct in your work every day. However, in times of reduced enquiries and heightened competition, it's vital to further showcase your reliability and quality.
The power of customer reviews in a competitive market
Reviews are powerful tools that enhance the trust and quality associated with being an FMB member. Reviews can effectively illustrate your commitment to exceeding client expectations and directly address the concerns and doubts potential clients may have.
The shift from traditional word-of-mouth to digital reviews
While word-of-mouth remains a valuable asset, the shift towards digital reliance, particularly among younger clients, is critical. Those in their late 20s to early 40s, the millennials, are known for doing their homework before even picking up the phone. They tend to research and read reviews online before making decisions or hiring services. They like to have all their questions answered and decisions nearly made before contacting suppliers. That's where detailed, honest customer reviews come into play. By clearly demonstrating how you've met or exceeded expectations in quality, budget, and timeliness, you're answering their questions before they've asked them.
Insights on effective reviews from construction coach Robin Hayhurst
At the Master Builder Awards, I had the opportunity to discuss the vital role of customer reviews with Robin, the architect of the Construction Success Roadmap. A former building company owner himself, his approach focuses on practical, real-world advice tailored to the unique challenges of the building industry.
He told me that all reviews are not created equal and emphasised that effective reviews should directly address the three things your clients fear the most.
- Quality not up to scratch.
- Going over budget.
- Missing the deadline.
Based on Robin’s insights, don't just ask your customers for a testimonial, ask them to comment on how you performed in these areas. Send them a template of questions that you can add together to create the testimonial.
Focus on these specific three questions:
- How did our work quality measure up?
- Did we stick to the budget?
- Were we on time with the project completion?
These aspects reassure potential clients by directly countering their main concerns.
Take action. Boost your profile and gather reviews, now with just one click!
It’s time to give your FMB Find a Builder profile a bit of attention. We have made things easier for you to quickly request a review from as many past clients as you can. Every single review stacks up, helping to cement your reputation. It’s recommended that you gather 10 reviews for every year you’ve been in business – how close, or far are you from that?
And don’t forget about Google Business Profile – it’s a nifty, free tool that can really ramp up your online visibility. It’s all about making it easier for new customers to find you and see what others have to say about your work. Handy, right?