Meet Tom Houghton, the man behind Round Peg Solutions. Renowned as a natural problem-solver and a dynamic force in the business world, he has devoted his career to helping companies define their strategies and achieve their goals. A recipient of ProRemodeler’s prestigious 40 Under 40 list, Tom’s infectious passion for his work stems from his deep-seated desire to help people and businesses transform their visions into tangible actions.
With an uncanny knack for translating complex marketing concepts into engaging narratives, Tom regularly shares his valuable insights, tips, and tricks with businesses from a wide range of industries. You can connect with Tom through LinkedIn or find out more about his work on the Round Peg Solutions website.
The Importance of Processes
So, why are processes so vital to companies? It all comes down to customer experience. Carefully defined processes help set the right expectations for your clients, serving as a checklist that ensures every aspect of the customer’s journey is accounted for. I often tell businesses, “Unset expectations go unmet,” and this underscores the significance of having defined processes to align customer expectations with your deliverables.
“Unset expectations go unmet.”
Setting communication expectations is huge, especially in the construction industry. For example, if you do not set expectations, your buyers will have a lot of questions and feel uncertain about what to expect. They’ll want to know how to get hold of you and when they should. But if you tell them that you’ll send them a weekly update via email and they can simply hit reply to respond or ask any further questions, then they’re going to relax and feel reassured that you’re on top of things. Of course, they can reach out at any other time, but a simple expectation and process like this can streamline things both for you and your client.
But there’s more. Processes also make your business more resilient, enabling it to weather economic fluctuations and changes in personnel. Think of it as setting a communication protocol with homeowners: clear, consistent, and predictable, which paves the way for smoother interactions and higher satisfaction rates, regardless of what’s going on in the world.
Leveraging Technology for Efficiency
In this digital era, technology plays a pivotal role in streamlining processes and boosting efficiency. But integrating technology into your business isn’t without challenges. The secret lies in finding intuitive, user-friendly solutions and investing in training to ensure your team understands not just the “how,” but also the “why” behind the implementation of new processes. Don’t be afraid to bring in someone to train everyone on how to use your technology so your team can hit the ground running with it, and help one another when problems arise.
I like to think of it like this: technology becomes the backbone, and the people become the feet that move things along. Technology allows you to effectively manage both your business operations and customer experiences consistently and in a timely manner. This will help you meet buyer expectations which will boost customer satisfaction.
Don’t limit your company by only allowing one or two people to handle communication with buyers – everyone should have access to all communication inside the CRM. By making sure everyone has access, you not only ensure that no balls are dropped if someone is unexpectedly unavailable but ensures all communication is consistent and doesn’t retread ground the buyer has already covered with another team member.
Do You Need New Processes? Spotting Red Flags
But how do you know when your business needs an overhaul of its marketing or technology processes? During consultations, I look for several red flags:
- If a company’s process isn’t clearly articulated and digitally represented, it signals disconnects that could undermine performance.
- Over-reliance on a single individual to handle a task is another warning sign indicating a lack of sustainability.
- If the processes are defined but no one returns to them to follow them.
- If there are too many people involved to get a process to happen.
- If there are not enough people involved, meaning there’s a risk the process may not happen if someone is unavailable.
Moreover, if you’ve been operating in isolation with unrepeatable actions, it’s a sure sign that external help is needed. The idea is to identify repeatable processes within your business, even within custom offerings, and streamline these processes to give the best customer experience.
Yes, custom home builders, this includes you! Yes, I understand that you tailor everything to your customer’s desires, but there are processes you do every time. Everyone needs a toilet and a kitchen. Everyone needs a roof. So what are the processes you’re doing every time to get these things in your customers’ homes? Find these processes and streamline them, and you’ll greatly improve your customer experience.
Implementing New Processes and Technology
When it comes to implementing new processes, I advise businesses to understand their direction and validate it with data and multiple perspectives. Recognizing pain points, often arising from a lack of defined processes, is a crucial step toward improvement.
“What gets measured gets improved.”
Whether it’s financials or marketing, tracking is key. Businesses can significantly improve their operations and marketing efforts by leveraging technology to monitor key metrics. Remember, what gets measured gets improved.
The Transformative Impact of Round Peg Solutions
So many construction companies fail or struggle because of poor management. They often get into this business because they know how to build a good house, but putting business processes in place to help their business thrive is a foreign concept to them.
Perhaps the most rewarding part of my work is helping struggling businesses overcome their challenges and identify where they can implement better processes. Seeing the transformation unfold, witnessing lives, businesses, and communities change for the better, gives me a deep sense of fulfilment. I am privileged to share this journey with my clients, shaping their strategies and processes, all with a touch of humor and a whole lot of expertise.
In today’s ever-evolving business landscape, it’s clear that strategic processes and the right use of technology are crucial to achieving customer satisfaction. At Shared Drive, we resonate with Tom’s mission and insights. We understand the transformative power of technology and well-defined processes in creating superior customer experiences, which is why we train our OSCs to help their builders create better processes that improve the customer experience.
Just as Tom helps businesses turn their vision into actionable steps, we at Shared Drive are here to support your journey toward operational excellence and increased customer satisfaction.