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The ongoing labor shortage the construction industry continues to face may be viewed as bad news, but it also brings opportunities for building products brands. The biggest one: it’s a great time to find out what your target audiences are dealing with when they do business with you.

It’s also a powerful motivation to remove issues that cause customers to spend more time or put in more effort, at a time when both are at a premium for most building products buyers.

A great place to start to uncover these pain points is your technical support and customer service teams. If you ever contemplated conducting a customer service audit checklist, think of these two groups as the low-hanging fruit when it comes to building audience insights.

Get An Inside Look At Your Customers’ Problems
Tapping into the challenges your technical support and customer service teams are solving gives you an inside look at what your customers are saying they want from you now. It may indicate what they need help with. What changes they’d like to see. It may even give you insights on things your competitors do that drive customers away.

Don’t think of these departments as money losers, or an overhead expense. Think of them instead as a lens for your future success: they can change the course of your business by allowing you to turn problems into ideas. For example, complaints about cardboard caulking tubes that get wet on job sites can provide the insight for new packaging materials and in turn happier customers.

In this way, your technical support and customer service teams can become growth engines for your business. Hearing and tracking customer comments should begin to set the tone for changes you can make, to make things easier for your buyers. And, in the process, you’ll also be helping them deal with the ongoing labor shortage that’s probably on their minds too.

If your customers are calling you about an issue they have, you can be certain it’s costing them a lot of time. Customers don’t call technical support to chat about their favorite sports teams, or to sing your praises. Some of the reasons why they call, and what these issues could mean to you are:

1) Something wasn’t clear: This creates an opportunity to understand where buyers need more details and can improve your communications, such as web content and corresponding SEO keywords.

2) Something wasn’t performing as expected: This highlights how a product can be improved and provides insights into how your product is actually being used.

3) The customer has an unmet need: This creates a pipeline of new product opportunities.

Turn Problems Into Ideas
Listening to all of these comments, tracking them, and then responding to them is one of the best ways to solve your customers’ challenges. And in that sense, the problems your customer service teams hear about should become ideas.

Sorting through all of the comments to arrive at opportunities for change can be confusing. We can help you design, run and analyze assessments.

You might conduct customer audit calls to highlight and clarify customer opinions. You can then leverage the insights by segmenting and integrating customer service needs within your organization’s customer relationship management (CRM) tools. This will allow you to create more meaningful marketing campaigns.

For example, say customer service learns that failure of a siding product is due to poor installation practices. That can lead the company to develop and market training programs designed to improve the quality and efficiency of installs — which ultimately will save contractors’ time. By leveraging their CRM and marketing automation tools, the organization can message about training opportunities to past and current contractors that may have been referenced in calls to customer service.

This is just one idea, among many others. From a marketing standpoint, you might leverage insights from your customer service team to:

  • Improve your web content and training based on the questions asked
  • Use technical and customer service calls/emails as an opportunity to create responsive messaging that improves loyalty
  • Improve SEO by understanding and asking how customers are searching for answers to their problems
  • Develop segmented, needs-based products and services geared to the kinds of questions customers ask

If your customers have complaints, it’s not all bad news. The upside is, if your customers are calling your technical support and customer service teams, it means they care enough to let you know. Which means they’re still on your side, they’re still engaged, and they’re interested. Why not use those valuable insights and energy to fuel your future growth. For more ideas on tapping into customer insights, contact Point to Point.