“The best thing you can do to keep clients interested in and enthusiastic about your company is to prepare them for your estimated timeline and keep an open line of communication throughout the entire fabrication process.”
Time and again, relationships with clients can become strained due to a lack of communication. Being proactive about communication concerning the rough patches of a project—as opposed to letting it fester—can be the difference between a successful project and a failed one. So, what are some key ways a fabricator can keep open communication with the client, and how can this be done more efficiently?
Site Visits – One of the best things a fabricator can do is to bring the client into the shop when their material is being fabricated. They can hear and see each part of the process that brings their project into reality. The flashes from the welding and sparks flying create a memory that, without a doubt, will go with them back to their offices. In addition, putting a name with a face is priceless when it comes to relationship building.
Sharing the Model – Give the client access to the model from day one. This way, the model can be utilized when you need to collaborate with your client on the project. For instance, when you’re discussing a connection or canopy with the client, nothing is better than looking at it together in 3D. Keeping the model updated and using it effectively shows you’re a fabricator that has things together and knows what they’re doing. Plus, when the client knows your progress, you’re more likely to stay on track with a project.
Progress Reporting –
Keeping the client informed of drawing, fabrication or shipping progress serves to motivate you to do what you do even better. In addition, you’re protected in instances where a client may insist they weren’t notified of an issue. For example, it’s a good idea to send an automated report to the client on a weekly basis, informing them of overdue RFIs, overdue drawings, or overdue Change Orders. This way, they always know what information you need to complete a project.
Communication breeds stronger and longer relationships. Being proactive makes you a better fabricator and aids in the progress of the project. The added benefit is the confidence your client now has that they picked the right fabricator for the job.