When most people consider the construction industry, rarely do they associate building homes, office towers and commercial spaces, with high-technology. Yet, in the last decade, the world of construction has undergone such rapid change that even industry pros are amazed at the technological advancements. At one time, we thought CAD software was the most incredible thing we could ever imagine. Today, 3D printers produce what once would have been considered science fiction.
So, what does all this technological advancement mean for you, or more importantly, your customers? While developers and builders have invested millions into the new world of technology, we often take for granted that our clients are moving along with us at warp speed, their understanding of these advancements not keeping up. And worst of all, not realizing how it all benefits them. As an industry, we need to set realistic expectations. Just think about it: does the average client truly understand how technology has been incorporated into the building process and how it translates to a big benefit for them?
We may often assume that words like drones, robots, enterprise resource planning, 3D printing, pre-manufacturing, building information modeling, and other advancements are clearly understood by the client. Are they? It’s an interesting question that should perhaps be asked up front when the project is in its first phase. Consider another industry of technology: commercial aviation. Most airline customers assume planes essentially fly themselves on autopilot – until they see the cockpit. That’s when they get a real sense of appreciation for what goes into their flight. By helping your customers better understand the process of construction, and the advanced technologies that can improve efficiency, costs and timelines, they can become better clients, providing critical input, without becoming back-seat drivers.
You’ve invested in keeping your company up to date with state of the art technology. Certainly, the benefits produced by their utility should produce a material return on investment. With appropriate “customer education,” your ROI might easily increase as you “market” the technology you use to your clients. If you’re not using a presentation deck about your business, or an introductory video, perhaps you should. A little self-promotion that shares the advanced methods and technology that your firm is using can go a long way to differentiating your business from your competitors. Think of the breath and reach of YouTube™ – it’s not just for entertainment; thousands of educational and promotional videos are loaded daily. Such videos are not expensive to produce and as the saying goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words.”
When clients understand why you use the technology you’ve purchased, and how it benefits them, there’s a heightened appreciation for your financial commitment to produce a best-inclass product. Their mental image and attitude will shift from thinking of construction as hammers and nails to high tech, professional and impressive.