Welcome back to the second installment of our three-part blog series, where we delve into proven methods for enhancing business success as demonstrated by leading concrete coatings firms. In Part 1, we discussed the foundational importance of customer service. Now, in Part 2, our attention turns to another crucial aspect: building brand trust.

In an industry where reputation is everything, establishing and maintaining trust among clients and partners is paramount. Top-performing concrete coatings businesses understand this dynamic well. They have mastered the art of delivering exceptional services and cultivating a reputation that precedes them.

In this post, we will uncover the strategies employed by industry leaders to solidify their standing in the market. From transparency in communications to delivering consistently high-quality results, these strategies are the bedrock upon which enduring client relationships are built. Whether you’re looking to reinforce your existing client base or attract new opportunities, Part 2 is designed to show you how to effectively cement your reputation and secure long-term success in the competitive world of concrete coatings.

Get Busy Building & Maintaining Trust!

Creating brand trust for your concrete coatings business is not just important—it’s crucial for forging enduring client relationships and setting yourself apart in a fiercely competitive market. In an industry that often appears oversaturated, establishing trust becomes a powerful tool to rise above the competition. Your craftsmanship may be impeccable, but without inspiring customer trust, you risk missing out on invaluable benefits such as word-of-mouth referrals, glowing testimonials, repeat business, and, conversely, avoiding negative reviews on platforms like Google and Yelp.

To ensure your business thrives and maintains a sterling reputation, here are essential strategies to build and sustain trust:

Consistent Quality: Ensuring consistent, high-quality finished floors that are both durable and aesthetically pleasing should be a cornerstone of your business strategy. Achieving this requires a proficient, well-trained crew and established processes for each flooring system offered to your customers. Even seasoned crew members must undergo training to align with your company’s operational standards. If detailed processes for your installations are not already in place, it’s crucial to develop, document, and train your crews accordingly. Project leads or foremen should oversee adherence to these processes on every project to maintain consistency and excellence.

Additionally, it is important to ensure that you are using high-quality products that have a proven track record of success in the field. Most suppliers and distributors offer trainings for contractors and crews. By taking advantage of these trainings, your crew has the best working knowledge of the product and understands necessary troubleshooting in the event that issues should arise.

Over time, this consistency creates long-term trust in your services as customers know they can expect the highest quality and great results.

Cleanliness and Organization: Installing concrete floor coatings on someone’s property or within someone’s home requires not only technical expertise but also a high level of professionalism and respect, particularly when it comes to cleanliness and organization. The nature of this work can be messy, involving dust, chemicals, and heavy equipment. Therefore, maintaining cleanliness and avoiding damage is paramount. This means diligently cleaning up debris, protecting surfaces from spills, and ensuring that no residue is left behind. It also requires attention to molding, drapes, furniture and other surroundings when mobilizing large equipment. Using protective coverings for furniture and other belongings can prevent any accidental damage, showcasing a commitment to respecting the homeowner’s space.

Equally important is staying organized throughout the process. Keeping tools and materials neatly arranged not only facilitates a smoother workflow but also minimizes the risk of accidents or damage. Clear communication with the homeowner about the work space and any disruptions that might occur is crucial. Respecting their home or property means being mindful of noise levels, working within agreed-upon hours, and always being courteous. By maintaining a clean and organized work environment and showing genuine respect for the homeowner’s property, professionals can ensure a positive experience, build trust, and foster long-term client relationships. This meticulous approach not only results in a beautiful, durable floor but also leaves a lasting impression of care and professionalism.

Transparency: Transparency creates trustworthy business relationships, especially in the industry of concrete coatings. Clear and open communication is paramount from the initial client interaction through to project completion. Providing clients with detailed estimates that outline costs, materials, and timelines sets realistic expectations and fosters trust. This transparency ensures that both parties are on the same page from the outset, minimizing misunderstandings and building confidence in your professionalism.

Timely and consistent project updates are another crucial aspect of transparency. Keep customers informed about the progress of their project, any challenges encountered, and adjustments made as this demonstrates your commitment to their satisfaction. Addressing issues promptly and honestly is equally important. Whether it’s unexpected delays, material shortages, or adjustments to the scope, communicating openly about challenges and proposing solutions showcases your dedication to delivering results while maintaining integrity.

A great way to kick off a project with full transparency is to walk new customers through your project process and also provide this as a document to them so they have an understanding of what to expect.

Prioritizing Customer Satisfaction: The first part of this blog series is all about the necessity of excellent customer service, but it bears repeating when it comes to developing brand trust. At the heart of this approach lies a commitment to understanding and addressing client needs with utmost care and professionalism. Listening attentively to clients from the initial consultation allows you to grasp their specific requirements, preferences, and expectations. This understanding forms the basis for crafting tailored solutions that not only meet but exceed their expectations. If problems arise, promptly addressing any concerns or queries swiftly, demonstrates responsiveness and a commitment to resolving issues swiftly, further enhancing the client experience.

Following up post-installation to ensure satisfaction and addressing any lingering questions or issues reinforces your dedication to client care. Building strong, positive relationships through exceptional service not only cultivates loyalty but also encourages positive word-of-mouth referrals—a powerful driver of new business in the industry.

Prioritizing exceptional customer service isn’t just about meeting expectations; it’s about setting new standards and consistently surpassing them. By making client satisfaction a top priority and maintaining a customer-centric approach throughout every interaction, your concrete coatings business can differentiate itself in a competitive market while fostering long-term success and growth.

Seek Customer Feedback: One of the most effective ways to bolster your reputation and foster brand trust is by actively seeking feedback from customers and encouraging them to provide testimonials. These testimonials serve as social proof of your capabilities and the satisfaction of past clients, helping potential customers feel more confident in choosing your services.

In today’s digital age, online reviews play a significant role in shaping perceptions and influencing purchasing decisions. It’s crucial to maintain a robust presence on platforms like Google and Yelp, where customers often turn to research businesses. Ensure your business listings are up-to-date with accurate information, including contact details, services offered, and business hours. Actively manage these listings by responding promptly and professionally to customer reviews—whether they are positive or negative.

Showcasing positive reviews and successful projects on your website and social media platforms further reinforces your reputation. Use case studies, before-and-after photos, and client testimonials to illustrate the quality of your work and the satisfaction of your clients. This transparent approach not only highlights your track record but also builds trust with potential customers who are considering your services.

By actively seeking feedback, managing online reviews, and showcasing your successes, you can effectively build and maintain a strong reputation for your concrete coatings business. This proactive approach not only enhances your credibility in the market but also positions you as a trusted leader in your industry, driving continued growth and success.

Certifications and Training: Most top performing businesses are good at staying on top of new technology and trends and our industry of concrete coatings is no different. If you’re not offering training to your crew members, there is no better time to start. Trainings ensure that all crew members are equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to perform their tasks efficiently and effectively. By providing consistent training, you can maintain a high standard of work across all projects, ensuring customer satisfaction and fostering a reputation for reliability and excellence. Regular training sessions help to standardize procedures, which minimizes errors and increases productivity, ultimately leading to a more streamlined and profitable operation. You can create company training programs or take advantage of free trainings provided by suppliers and distributors in the industry.

Continuing education is essential in the ever-evolving field of concrete coatings. New materials and installation techniques are constantly being developed, and staying updated with these innovations can give your business a competitive edge. Through ongoing training, your crew can learn about the latest advancements and how to apply them in the field. This not only improves the quality of your services but also demonstrates a commitment to staying at the forefront of industry standards.

As your business grows, you might decide to expand your service offerings by adding new systems and products. This expansion requires your team to undergo formal training to master the new methods and tools. Proper training ensures that your crew can confidently handle these new systems, reducing the risk of mistakes and ensuring that projects are completed to the highest standards.

Integrity: One of the most important and sought after values in business is integrity. Integrity can largely enhance your reputation and is strongly associated with financial performance and success. Contracting businesses in general have developed a bad reputation in the area of ethical practices and customers can be wary, so standing out in this area can be a huge advantage for your concrete coatings business.

Business integrity requires that your interactions are always conducted with honesty and consistency, that commitments made to your customers are always honored and that you stand behind your work. Business owners, operators, customer service reps and crew members must hold themselves accountable for their actions even when the customer is not watching.

In order to foster integrity in your business, it is important to lead by example. If you cut corners, cheat the customer or ignore inappropriate behavior, you are setting the ethical tone for your business and you can expect your employee to follow suit. You must model the behavior that you want and talk about the importance of integrity, making it part of the culture. Additionally, in the event that unethical behavior is found, you must demonstrate the consequences fairly and directly.

Online Presence: In today’s digital age, having a website is essential for building credibility and trust in your business for several key reasons. A website makes your business visible and accessible to potential customers around the clock. It serves as a central hub where people can learn about your services, view your portfolio, and find your contact information. This accessibility can significantly enhance your business’s reach and customer engagement.

Additionally, a well-designed website conveys professionalism and reliability. It shows that you are serious about your business and are willing to invest in its online presence. A professional website can set you apart from competitors who may lack an online presence or have a poorly maintained site.

If you don’t have a company website, you are missing out on an opportunity to provide potential customers with A detailed information about your services, pricing, and business practices. This allows your leads to make informed decisions based on the information you provide. It also allows you to address common questions and concerns, further establishing your expertise and reliability.

Featuring customer testimonials and reviews on your website can significantly boost your credibility. Positive feedback from previous clients serves as social proof, reassuring potential customers about the quality of your services. It also shows that you value customer satisfaction and are proud of your work.

A website allows you to showcase your portfolio, highlighting past projects and demonstrating your expertise. This visual representation of your work can be a powerful tool in convincing potential clients of your capabilities. It also provides a platform to share blog posts, articles, and other content that establishes you as an authority in your field.

A well-optimized website can improve your search engine rankings, making it easier for potential customers to find you online. This increased visibility can lead to more inquiries and business opportunities. Being easily found online also reinforces your credibility, as most consumers trust businesses that appear prominently in search results.

In summary, a website is a crucial tool for establishing and maintaining credibility and trust in your business. It not only enhances your professional image but also provides a platform to inform, engage, and build lasting relationships with your customers.

Stand Behind Your Work: If you’re trying to build brand trust in your business, demonstrate your confidence in the quality of your services by standing behind your work. By offering warranties and guarantees you signal to customers that you are committed to delivering high standards and that they can trust you to address any issues that may arise. This builds credibility and reassures clients that they are making a safe investment.

In a competitive market, having these in place can set your company apart from others. Potential customers are more likely to choose a business that offers assurances of quality and durability over one that does not. This can be a decisive factor in winning new contracts and retaining existing customers because it provides peace of mind. The customer can feel reassured that if something goes wrong, your company will address it without additional costs. This reduces the perceived risk associated with the investment.

Additionally, offering warranties and guarantees motivates your company to maintain high standards of quality. It encourages thorough inspections and meticulous work, knowing that any faults will have to be rectified at your expense. This focus on quality can lead to fewer mistakes, higher customer satisfaction, and a stronger reputation.

Employing these strategies can help to greatly increase your concrete coatings business credibility and brand trust. By consistently demonstrating reliability, expertise, and a customer-centric approach, you can effectively build and reinforce trust in your concrete coatings business, fostering loyalty and attracting new opportunities.

If you missed Part 1 of this series, read here:
Part 1: Mastering Customer Service: The Key to Success in Your Concrete Coatings Business

Stay tuned for the last post in this series coming up in August:
Part 3: Crafting Effective Ads: Capturing Attention and Converting Leads

In recent years, with the persistent rise in inflation and soaring costs across various sectors such as fuel, food, utilities, construction supplies, there’s been a noticeable constriction in spending. For contractors specializing in concrete floor coatings, this tightening can sometimes translate to a slowing of sales or a drop in average contract prices. In times like these, it’s important to be proactive to keep your business thriving.

When we look at top-performing concrete coatings businesses, there are a few things that they all have in common. Among these are exceptional customer service, a solid foundation of brand trust and effective ads that perform. This article is the first of a three-part series that will explore this winning combination of factors and discuss proven methods that can greatly increase your success and bottom line.

Get Your Customer Service Dialed In!

Customer service is arguably one of the most important attributes that can make or break your business. Any experience from your customers that is viewed as poor can end a relationship and be spread as word of mouth in the same way that a positive one can. You want customers to keep coming back and recommending your business based on their positive experience. So, what does good customer service mean?

Responsiveness

When you’re out in the field, juggling phone calls, text messages, and emails can be a challenge. However, providing excellent customer service entails being attentive and responsive to customer inquiries, concerns, and feedback. Many prospective customers expect immediate assistance when planning a project, and if you’re not readily available to respond, you could risk losing a job to a competitor.
It’s crucial to ensure that incoming calls are promptly attended to (within three rings), even when you’re occupied with ongoing tasks or assisting another customer. Moreover, the individual handling these inquiries should possess adequate knowledge and communication skills to address customer questions effectively and put the customer at ease.

Empathy

No one wants to deal with people that don’t seem to care about them, and customers are no different. In moments where a customer is sharing with you their needs, concerns or frustrations, empathetic responses demonstrate that the business values the customer’s perspective and is committed to resolving issues satisfactorily. Customers who feel heard and understood are more likely to develop a sense of loyalty towards a business, as opposed to those who feel neglected or dismissed. Thus, fostering a culture of empathy within your customer service approach can significantly enhance customer satisfaction and long-term loyalty.

Knowledge

In the competitive landscape of the concrete coatings industry, instilling confidence in your customers hinges on demonstrating unparalleled expertise and knowledge. It’s imperative that both you and your customer-facing staff possess a comprehensive understanding of the materials used and their performance in various environments.

Being perceived as an authority in your field requires mastery not only of the systems you install but also of the intricacies of the installation process itself as well as issues of troubleshooting. By embodying this level of proficiency, you not only reassure your customers but also establish your business as a trusted leader in the industry.

Effective Communication

While we engage in communication daily, effective business communication differs from casual conversations and demands a level of formality and adherence to guidelines. To uphold professionalism, ensure clarity, and cultivate strong relationships with customers, it’s essential to adhere to some basic parameters. These guidelines serve as a foundation for maintaining professionalism and facilitating effective communication in business interactions.

• Answer the call within three rings.
• Immediately introduce yourself.
• Speak clearly.
• Only use speakerphone when necessary.
• Actively listen and take notes.
• Use proper language and avoid profanity.
• Remain cheerful.
• Ask before putting someone on hold or transferring a call.
• Be honest if you don’t know the answer.
• Be mindful of your volume.

Problem-Solving Skills

Few things frustrate customers more than encountering a problem and receiving no resolution. As a contractor, part of your responsibility entails adeptly handling customer issues, complaints, and challenges. This involves providing solutions to problems, taking ownership of resolving issues, and following up to guarantee customer satisfaction. When mistakes occur, taking accountability and diligently working towards resolution is paramount. By owning up to errors and taking proactive steps to rectify them, you demonstrate integrity and commitment to customer satisfaction.

Customization

In your business, you probably have set flooring systems and color options in place to streamline operations. Yet, there are instances where customers seek a more tailored approach. The ability to craft custom flooring solutions can give you a significant edge over competitors. It’s crucial to navigate these situations thoughtfully. Engaging in detailed discussions with the customer, providing mockups, and obtaining approval can foster trust and guarantee satisfaction. By investing time and effort into meeting the unique needs of each customer, you demonstrate a sincere commitment to their vision and preferences.

Consistency

Consistency is a hallmark of a well-managed business, showcasing reliability and building trust among customers. It’s the bedrock upon which your reputation for delivering exceptional customer service is established. Achieving this level of consistency requires that you provide comprehensive training for all staff and crew members.

Regardless of whom the customer interacts with, their experience should be consistently seamless. This entails implementing strict systems for customer interactions, on-the-job procedures, checkpoints, staging, installation, and post-project follow-up. By maintaining consistency across all facets of your organization, you reinforce your commitment to excellence and solidify your position as a trusted provider in the industry.

As you navigate the intricacies of running a concrete coatings business, remember that mastering customer service is an ongoing journey. By prioritizing responsiveness, empathy, knowledge, effective communication, problem-solving, customization, and consistency, you lay the foundation for long-term success and customer satisfaction.

Stay tuned for the next two posts in this series:

Part 2: Building Brand Trust: Strategies for Cementing Your Reputation
Part 3: Crafting Effective Ads: Capturing Attention and Converting Leads

WHY DO I NEED TO DEVELOP A SERVICE OFFERING?

When you’re establishing a concrete floor coatings business, there are numerous factors to take into account. Your focus might revolve around identifying a reliable supplier, acquiring the necessary equipment and tools, and determining your pricing structure. However, before delving too deeply into these aspects, it’s crucial to ensure that you have a well-rounded and manageable range of services to offer to your prospective customers.

KEEP IT SIMPLE!

Maintaining simplicity in your service offering is crucial for effectively managing and growing your business. One of your first objectives in developing your business plan should be to carefully select a target market and specific product offerings and concentrate all your resources and efforts in that direction. By doing so, you can channel your focus and expertise, optimizing your business processes and strategies to cater to the needs and demands of your chosen market. Simply put, you can’t be everything to everyone. It’s better to be a master of one particular area than provide mediocre or subpar services across the board.

Although it may be tempting to provide a broad offering that will appeal to a large target market, attempting to serve too many markets can have a detrimental effect on your growth trajectory. The inherent complexity of managing a wide range of applications in different markets can potentially slow down your business’s expansion. Moreover, training installers becomes a more intricate and resource-consuming task when dealing with a broad range of applications and market dynamics. Minimize the number of flooring systems and potential options you will offer and be sure to have suppliers setup that can quickly provide materials for your projects.

By adhering to a focused approach and specializing in a specific market and product offering, you position your business for more efficient growth and operational excellence while ensuring that your team of installers can be effectively trained and proficient in delivering high-quality services.

So, now that you understand why it is important to focus your service offering, what does that look like? There are quite a few areas that you can choose to build from so we’ve put together a quick graphic to show you the six main areas of focus.

concrete coatings service offerings

POTENTIAL SERVICE OFFERINGS

Residential Garage Flooring:
• Color Chip Flooring; 2-Day and 1-Day systems
• Solid Color Systems
• Metallic Flooring

Residential Exteriors:
• Driveways
• Patios
• Color Chip Flooring
• Solid Colors Systems
• Stains & Clear Sealer Systems

Pool Decks & Exteriors:
• Deck Repair and Restoration
• Installation of New Pool Deck Systems
• IE Knock-Down Texture
• Faux Flagstone Overlay
• ECT

Residential Interiors:
• Concrete Polishing
• Stains & Clear Sealer Systems
• Grind and Seal Systems
• Metallic Flooring.

Commercial Flooring:
• Concrete Polishing
• Concrete Sealer Systems
• Grind and Seal Applications
• Thin-Film Epoxy Coatings
• Color Chip Flooring Systems
• Metallic Flooring
• High-Build Systems
• Epoxy Broadcast Systems
• Urethane Cement

Industrial Flooring:
• Thin-Film Epoxy Coatings
• High-Build Epoxy Broadcast Systems
• Urethane Cement
• Concrete Repair

NARROWING IT DOWN: QUALIFYING QUESTIONS TO ASK

When you’re looking at these potential service offering categories, you’ll want to consider some qualifying aspects that will ultimately help you land on the best offering for your company.

1. Expertise & Experience: Do you have an area of expertise or extensive experience? If so, this is a great place to start. For example, if you’ve been installing epoxy color chip garage floors for years, you might look closer at garage flooring, residential flooring or commercial flooring. If your experience falls within multiple categories, you should next determine if you are able to provide the full range of installations within that area.

2. Education & Training: Do you require training and education before you can confidently provide quality services within a specific offering? If you simply need to round out your training on one or two systems types, that may be attainable but be sure that you have the time and resources to commit.

3. Installers & Labor: Do you have access to qualified installers and labor for the service area that you are interested in or will you be working solo? If you are working alone, it’s important to develop an offering that you can confidently manage on your own. Taking on too much can cause quality and efficiency to suffer and creates trust and credibility issues for your business. If you need to hire installers and labor to carry out your installations, it’s important that you have access to industry networks that help to facilitate job searches and hiring.

4. Training: What’s necessary for the training of new employees? Establishing a training program for new recruits is advantageous for all businesses. The primary aim is to create uniformity, quality, and efficiency across all of your installations. If your goal is for your business to operate seamlessly, it’s imperative to onboard each employee, providing them with the knowledge of installation procedures and the company’s expectations. The greater the number of systems and system options you provide, the more time and resources will be demanded for employee training. This can also make it more challenging to sustain consistency across all tasks, ensuring that every job is executed correctly. Keep this in mind as you develop your service offering.

5. Colors, Options & System Options: What colors, options, and system types will you offer to your customers? Within each service offering, there exists a multitude of system types and options, each offering a range of colors and choices, including the possibility of custom orders. If your aim is to streamline and simplify your offering, it may be wise to limit the number of systems, colors, and options you provide. Not only does this make the decision process easier for customers, but it also grants you greater control over your business operations, ensuring efficiency and coherence in your services. By carefully curating your selection, you can tailor your offerings to meet specific customer needs while maintaining a manageable and profitable business model.

6. Target Audience: Do you have a clear understanding of your target audience? If not, conducting research on this specific demographic is paramount. Understanding their purchasing behaviors, income levels, influential factors, and general demographics can help you fine-tune your communication and marketing strategies. When your messaging and product offerings align with the values and needs of your audience, it increases the likelihood of creating strong and enduring relationships with your customers. This, in turn, fosters brand loyalty and encourages repeat business. Furthermore, audience research can provide valuable insights into new opportunities for products or services, as well as potential enhancements to your existing offerings, promoting innovation and ultimately leading to higher customer satisfaction.

7. Supplier: Do you have a supplier that stocks the materials, tools and products that you will need for your service offering? You want to ensure that you’ve got a good working relationship with a supplier that stocks materials that align with your needs. For example, if the majority of your systems will be epoxy or polyurethane based coatings, be sure to choose a supplier that stocks a robust line of these materials and the tools to work with them. Ideally your supplier will also provide field support and training in the areas specific to your service offering.
Dedicate time to address each of these questions in order to construct an overview of your service offerings. Subsequently, you can further fine-tune and enhance them. The primary objective is to simplify and guarantee the manageability and sustainability of your business. Once your business experiences growth and operates smoothly, you can contemplate expansion when you’re confident and prepared to do so.

NOTE: Last month, we posted an article called “10 Tips for New Concrete Coatings Contractors” that outlines important factors that can set you on the right track to ensure a strong start in the industry. This article provides a fundamental framework for your business development. If you missed it, pop over and give it a read.