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How to build trust with your clients during a supply chain shortage

by Rebecca Barr Rebecca Barr | Mar 31, 2021 8:09:27 AM

Warmer weather means an influx of projects for the construction industry. Businesses of all trades are likely already seeing their calendars fill with jobs scheduled through the late summer months.

As supply chains continue to rebound from COVID-related disruptions, costs associated with performing those projects is rising exponentially. Materials are scarce right now, making work more expensive. For business owners, it’s wreaking havoc on budgets and impacting deadlines.

Every product or service relies on other services and raw materials in order to be produced. Disruptions to those relationships can cause a big problem for business owners. In some circumstances, like a pandemic, losing a link in the supply chain can force companies to seek drastic solutions that hurt the long-term viability of their operation.

To avoid those issues, Better Business Bureau is urging business owners to keep an eye on incoming materials when booking projects. If a supply shortage does slow you down, though, here are a few tips to help you respond to your clients in ways that build trust:

  • Be transparent from the get-go. Communicate with your clients about potential delays. Be upfront and honest about expected material delivery dates before they sign the contract.

  • Be there along the way. Provide your clients with regular updates. Maybe even give them your contact information or offer some preferred ways they can get ahold of you for questions. If needed, beef up your customer service team with tools to better assist your customers.

  • Take ownership. If delays happen after the point of agreement, notify your customers. Let them know what is going on and apologize for the inconvenience. The way you handle a roadblock can make or break a long-lasting relationship.

  • Keep an eye on your supply chain. Have a solid understanding of how your supply chain works through supplier mapping. Communicate closely with your vendors and emphasize transparency from their part. It’s crucial to know their operational status and inventory level in case you have to look for another supplier.

To learn more, watch our BBB Informed video on supply chains.

Find more business tips at trust-bbb.org.

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