Building Relationships is Key to Customer Service in Construction

By April Brisbois

Have you ever thought about starting a career, learning a new trade, creating the dream job meant just for you? Have you ever had the great career, the dream job, the comfortably-reliably learned trade and been forced to reassess those ideals? This is what happened to me and how I ended up working in construction with Welliver. I created a career for myself in the customer service industry as a travel consultant, working with corporate travelers, leisure travelers, “the money is no object” traveler, and the “which hotel has the most for my buck” traveler. It was all about customer service and the rapport I created with my clients offering confidence and commitment, showing them they were my priority. I worked hard to establish myself as a top consultant who would work to create the adventure, get you to your next meeting, or should circumstances not go as expected, you knew who to call for assistance. Then as you know on March 15, 2020 the world shut down and took us all with it. The COVID pandemic rocked the travel industry to its very core. People were no longer looking for adventure. They weren’t worried about their next meeting or which beach had the best shells. They were worried about surviving. This is how I came to reassess what I thought was a lifetime career choice.

When you are forced to stay the course or try something new you always have to weigh the pros and cons. (Vision boards are real, people!) What did I want in life? What did I have to offer? How can I put my skills to use if I decided I wanted to expand my own career options? I decided to expand, to take control of the situation I found myself in because of the pandemic and try something different. No matter what new system you need to learn or new program is required the basis is the same — build a customer service platform with your consultants, clients, owners, and now in my new role, subcontractors; and showcase yourself as a reliable, accountable asset to your team and business associates.

I have been with Welliver for two years as a project coordinator and very happy I made this career change. With Welliver, the wheels of production are always spinning and changing. The core is the same with each new job and project but the travel from point A to B can be a winding road. As each project is different and requires different skill sets, each project manager (PM) is different as well with their own unique way of traversing the winding road from start to finish. My job is to help navigate, offer assistance, and adapt to each PM as needed. Customer service in the construction industry often requires a quick response and clear communication between myself and the project designated team. To be an asset on a team with multi-functioning roles, it’s so important to realize that customer needs vary and to be adaptive to that.

Working in a customer service capacity at Welliver to me means building relationships with the Welliver team, architects, subcontractors, owners, and all involved under each of these umbrellas. We need to give/receive respect from each tier of the project in order to manage a successful build. When you build respect with each other you open a communication path that allows ideas and opportunities to grow on all sides. Giving and receiving feedback is done in a constructive way instead of delivered as criticism and combative. The relationships built with the key parties involved in the project help eliminate risks such as unrealistic deadlines, unnecessary/or necessary scope changes, unforeseen issues found during the build, resource issues, etc.

As a customer-oriented company, Welliver has built and continues to build rapport with the community, companies, and project owners for repeat business and business referrals. They have created a team that works to build inclusiveness with subcontractors throughout the region, working with the trades and being impartial. Allowing equal opportunities on each build makes Welliver strong in the customer service industry. Communication between all parties allows us to commit and achieve the customer’s goals and expectations, creating brand loyalty between our clients and Welliver.

In closing, customer service is a viable living entity in this industry. It leads to either the growth and loyalty of a business or the demise due to lack of integrity, respect, and communication. Welliver is celebrating 125 years in the industry during 2023, proof of “Confidence Built on Performance.”

An outgoing and creative thinker, April has worked as a customer service professional for more than 20 years. During this time, she has become a subject matter expert in communication, client outreach, trouble shooting, and negotiating around challenging situations. April is keenly familiar with working with people on a day-to-day basis in ever-changing environments. As project coordinator for Welliver, her philosophy is to build a customer service platform with owners, architects, and subcontractors; and perform as a reliable, accountable asset to the team and business associates. April can be reached at [email protected].