By Steve Taylor
Chairman, OSHBA Associates Council
Editor's note: This column was published in December's edition of Oklahoma Builder magazine
The business climate is changing before our eyes. Technology continues to evolve and make its way into the housing industry as well. We have gone from the advent of smoke alarms to now a fully connected home. With technology, we can control our thermostats, lights, appliances, and anything connected to an app on our phone. We are able now, with technology, to see our energy usage, and be able to adjust our habits to save money on our utilities. With technology, we are able to do a lot in the world.
However, with all of this technology, we are losing something, the personal touch – face-to-face communication communication that shows our customers that we do care. When was the last time you got really good service? What kind of an impact did that make on you? Was it pleasant? Was it meaningful? I work for a utility company that has given in to the technology curve and has automated a lot of our processes (Not always a bad thing). Here are a couple of things I would challenge you to do if you are in a service company like me.
Reach out to your customers. When you are heavy on the technology end, the customer can feel like a number. I try to reach out to all of my builders on a regular basis to let them know I am still around to assist them and remove obstacles they could be facing.
Ask questions. Many people have something to say. Whether it be about an issue or something that they have noticed. In this day and age, we tend to lean toward texting, instant messaging and email. I always ask my customers if there is anything I can do to help them. Sometimes if you don’t ask they will not tell. Be sure to listen to what they have to say!
This list is not exhaustive by any means, but it is a starting point. I feel customer service has fallen by the wayside in a lot of areas of business. I encourage you to look at your business, your clients and the customers you serve directly and indirectly and let them know you care.
As we are coming into the holiday season, I would like to say happy holidays to everyone! Your support of the Oklahoma State Home Builders Association and the Associates Council is appreciated!
Steve Taylor is chairman of the OSHBA Associates Council. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or at (580) 250-5417.