The construction industry has a complex Decision Making Unit, with many influences on the specification of a construction product. So do you know how satisfied specifiers are with your products or services? What they like or don’t like about your construction product? The best way to find out what your customers want is to ask them. Research is key to identifying issues for your customers and creating opportunities for you to get ahead of the competition. In this blog we consider the five areas that a customer survey can cover.
What influences construction specifiers to purchase?
- It’s what I’ve used before
Architects, Engineers and Contractors are busy people, so it is only natural that they choose to specify construction products they are familiar with and have used before. They know what they are getting. This is great if it is your construction product they are specifying. But if you want to influence them to change their decision you need to understand why they are staying with the tried and tested product.
- Ease of purchase
With construction projects having strict schedules and quantity requirements it is important to be able to demonstrate stock availability and a reliable delivery process. If you have a bespoke product, how simple is it for the specifier to collaborate with you on the design features they are looking for? Getting a better understanding of your customer allows you to communicate the solutions they are looking for.
- Ease of installation
This fits into the concept discussed in point one, it’s what I’ve used before. If the construction product is simple and fast to install this is a benefit, as all construction projects have schedules to adhere to. And missing a deadline can often have an impact on budgets and construction project profitability. But what else can the manufacturer do to promote their construction product? An advice line or online chat is a feature that can be well received by specifiers. Taking this to the next level, running installation training is another way to retain specifications or if that is not practical have a YouTube installation video.
- Perceived value
The idea of value often goes hand in hand with brand and your product image. How do construction decision makers perceive your brand? Are they aware of the benefits that you offer, do these matter to them and can they justify a price premium?
- Product credentials
There are 15 approved documents in the building regulations and over 11,000 construction related documents to take into consideration. How well does your company guide the specifier through these regulations? In addition is the designer trying to achieve a BREEAM or Ska rating? Ensuring your product credentials are correctly interpreted and applied is important, and it is a great way to actively differentiate yourself from the competition.
The benefits of conducting a regular customer satisfaction or perception surveys, not just of those who directly purchase your products, but those who specify as well is that it allows you to identify and understand your customer issues. It can also inform you about perceptions of your competitors. It prompts you to check and re-check your strategy, identifying if you are on target to achieve KPIs and most importantly meet customer expectations.