With the 2010’s coming to an end, housing transactions have returned to a steady growth for the first time since the 2008 financial crisis and the home improvement market is booming. But like the change in the market, consumer expectations have also evolved. Industry specific applications and the rise of mobile devices now drives demand for a digital customer experience — one that allows consumers to find products, actively participate in the design and easily communicate with their contractor.
The result? Design-build firms must embrace the digital experience to improve customer satisfaction.
Online reputation: The digital shift is changing how clients find contractors; instead of asking for recommendations at the local hardware store, homeowners are researching companies and reading reviews online on Google, HomeAdvisor, Angie’s List, etc. Maintaining a professional online image is more important than ever.
Onsite consultation: Meeting homeowners on their property to evaluate the scope of work and create an estimate is a critical step. By leveraging 3D modeling and measurement applications, contractors can provide a stronger, more precise visualization of the space. It also helps fine-tune measurements and catch potential problems before construction starts. Making the entire home remodeling process easier, smoother and more efficient.
Inspiration and purchasing: Now more than ever homeowners are turning to the Internet for inspiration. Instead of heading to local big box stores for help choosing and ordering materials, they’re opting for digital alternatives, searching online design websites — like Pinterest and Houzz — and e-commerce home improvement sites — like Lowe’s and Build.com — to find exactly what they want.
Project management platforms: Websites like Buildertrend.com grant clients direct access to their project. By using the same platform, it’s easy for builders and clients to communicate. Clients can share what selections they have made, upload progress photos and access the timing of the build. Homeowners have the ability to track their project in real time.
In this day and age technology impacts all areas of our lives, and the home improvement industry is no exception. The rise of online inspiration sites, forward-thinking contractors and digitally-savvy homeowners greatly improves the home remodeling experience.