In spite of being sectors not traditionally known for producing thoughts leaders in service, customer service becomes a central focus for success for construction contractors.

There’s nothing like an uncompleted job, a job that isn’t on schedule, no follow up on a project to illustrate the clear need for excellent communication as a foundation for customer service. Customer service helps minimize conflict and helps construction industry professionals become more solution focused when conflicts arise.

This understanding is at the heart of why we’ve always placed service at the top of our priorities list at Dogwood. It’s in our vision and mission statements. It’s in our DNA. It’s who we are and what we do.

Customer service means to go above and beyond expectations.

With customer service, we think about how a business interacts with its clients.

How well do they communicate?

Do they respond to emails in a timely manner?

Are they engaged with their audience on social media and other channels?

Do they actively demonstrate respect for a clients’ time, money and brand?

In a world that’s become incredibly noisy, these kinds of questions should be at the front of every leader’s mind.

One of the best customer service principles is to commit over-deliver. In construction, paying attention to customer requests, no matter how big or small, is crucial. A low priority to you may be a high priority to a client, so it’s imperative that you are on the same page with your clients and with the other professionals who are working on the project. This mean LISTENING more than you speak. It means getting the work done the way you said it will be done – upholding values like quality and safety, for example.

A mindset of active service in action (The Dogwood Way)

Respect, kindness, and courtesy

Respect must be demonstrated with sincerity. Especially when problems arise. No one likes to have their concerns marginalized. Have courtesy for the thoughts, feelings, wants, and needs of the other person.

Listen resonantly

Keep the conversation open about the project and listen to what the other person needs to say. Do not consider your response while the other person is talking. You could miss something important. Active listening is a key part of customer service.

Solve Problems

When a problem arises, listen first.

You might say, “I hear you’re worried about _________, but it won’t happen and this is the reason…” or “I see you want to add ___________ to the project list. Here’s how we can go about making that happen for you…”

Do your best to predict problems and take action before they arise.

Define your projects

Establishing an agreed upon scope of work for any project is critical. Things like estimating and good project management practices, the use of CRM software, a clear maintenance or construction schedule, and a clear invoicing cycle are all important factors that enable both project success, and empower customer service. How can you evaluate “service” unless you have a clear and agreed upon understanding of what the goals and timelines are?


Its 2024. If you can’t expect people to wait for days to hear back from you and expect them to be thrilled about it. Even if you don’t have an immediate answer, or you’re working on a solution, let them know!

Be proactive in communication. Let stakeholders know of any problems the project may collide with in the future.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Asking questions gets you the information you need to properly define the project.

Do they need anything else?

Sometimes you may come for one job and a client may have several potential jobs.

A simple, “I’m glad we could help you with __________. Is there anything else we could do for you?” Can be enough.

Or, let them know what you’ve noticed or found as a possible issue that needs fixing or doing, and pitch the idea to them (after all, you’re already on site). This is a good way to not only create work, but to support the establishment and maintenance of solid, lasting relationships with the people you serve.

Customer service opens the door to many benefits. There is no downside to it.

When people feel respected, they are more likely to do repeat business and refer you. Building a reputation for consistently delivering great service is one of the most powerful competitive advantages a business can have.

Dogwood has been proud to stand behind this mantra for a decade – “Building Success Through Service”. Its guided us in a direction that’s not only provided tremendous benefit to our own business, but helped our customers sleep better at night.

And isn’t that ultimately what we’re all after?