Some business problems are harder to fix than others but few can as frustrating for a modular home factory as losing a good builder.
There's no single way to "fix" this broken relationship. Every situation -- and every modular home builder -- is different. Success depends on your ability to listen, adapt, evolve, and rise to the challenge.
There are, however, important techniques that the modular home factory can use to win back unhappy or dissatisfied builders. Put these methods to work, and you'll have the tools you need to turn even the most ardent critic into a loyal -- and vocal -- repeat builder. In today's business climate, this could make the difference between success and failure for both the factory and the builder.
1. FIND OUT WHAT'S WRONG
This seems obvious, but many sales managers and their sales reps neglect to ask one vitally important question: "What happened?"
It's not necessary to open with an apology, mostly because you won't know what you're sorry for, and those mea culpas often come across as insincere anyway. Instead, open a dialogue with the builder, listen to what they're saying, and get the information you need to offer a solution.
2. GET TO THE BOTTOM OF THE PROBLEM
Once you discover why your builder is unhappy, it's time to assess who, or what, is at the root of the problem. If a miscommunication occurred, for example, you'll want to acknowledge that you or one of your employees could have done a better job of articulating a specific policy.
You may know -- or think you know -- exactly what went wrong. Yet it's also important to ask the builder how they see the problem. They'll give you a different point of view, and in the process they might show you how to come up with a better solution. You'll also open a dialogue with the builder that shows how much you value and appreciate their input.
3. OFFER A SPECIFIC PLAN OF ACTION
Once you've made it clear that you understand what went wrong and why the builder is unhappy, offer a specific strategy to make things right. Vague assurances are exactly that: vague. You're far more likely to win over an upset builder if you present them with a specific solution to the problem.
4. OFFER AN INCENTIVE
Once you've offered a solution to the problem, sweeten the deal with a price break on their next house or some other special incentive. However, offering a discount just to get the builder back is not fixing the problem that caused the builder to leave in the first place.
The idea here isn't just to win back the builder's business. You're also fighting to win back their affection, loyalty, and trust, and a genuinely kind gesture can soften even the most hardened builder.
5. EMPOWER YOUR SALES REP
If you want to solve builder service issues, you've got to give your sales rep the power to fix problems and make things right. That's especially true when it comes to dealing with unhappy builders.
If you're the only one who can make the big decision to, say, give a builder some kind of concession, you're sabotaging your own builder service efforts. Your sales reps are often the first people to deal with an unhappy builder, and if they can't address the issue on the spot using their own best judgment, your business might not get another chance.
A sales rep that says he/she has to check with someone else every time a problem arises will soon lose the builder's confidence.
6. LAUNCH A "WIN BACK CUSTOMERS" CAMPAIGN
Assemble your sales team and create a campaign just for previous builders, particularly ones who left disgruntled or otherwise unhappy. Conduct the campaign via social media and in print to make sure you reach everyone. Tell the builders you miss them and want to do something -- whatever it takes -- to get them back. Just don’t go down the discount road.
The deals you present could involve price breaks, special incentives or offers tailored specifically to address ex-builders' concerns. Whatever you do, make sure you also offer incentives to your sales team, since they'll be doing the heavy lifting on this effort.
7. SEAL THE DEAL
Once you win back that unhappy builder, do your best to keep them. Start out at once by expressing your appreciation, and never stop. Remind yourself from time to time why your builder became disgruntled in the first place.
The last thing you want is to have to woo back an unhappy builder a second time!