The long lead to loyalty
For members of the residential building industry, Amanda says it’s important not to disregard one-off clients, but to look at ways to cultivate long-term relationships with them instead.
‘If you can turn your customers into advocates, you are a step ahead of your competitor,’ she says.
‘Sometimes, in industries like building and construction, the lead time is a lengthy one. The long sales cycle has a danger of being seen as only a transaction.
‘Remember that the outstanding work you do will lead to more than repeat business. It will lead to referrals to friends and family, and repeat business for many years to come, ensuring the future of your business.’
Technology with a human touch
When it comes to wider-scale thoughts on the future, Amanda acknowledges that being overwhelmed by the speed of change and tech-lead innovation is understandable.
Ultimately, for Amanda, the future will still be about building trust on the human side and leveraging innovation.
‘Dramatic reports that robots will take over 70 per cent of jobs is just not true; it’s not the reality. But this is a chance to find a way to be both high tech and high touch,’ she says. ‘Consumers and expectations are changing faster than ever before. Sure, it is about what do they want today, but it’s also about what do they need tomorrow.’
Amanda believes that the organisations that combine the best of ‘high tech’ (automation, artificial intelligence and virtual reality) with the best of ‘high touch’ (personalised, human experiences) will win the battle for relevance in the next three to five years.
But she cautions businesses against spending too much time looking at the past, and being afraid of the future: ‘You can look in the rear vision mirror but you are not allowed to stare,’ she laughs.
When it comes to finding a way to deal with the influx of future focused ideas, information and technology, Amanda also says it’s crucial to balance all the material with mindfulness.
‘If you can build a better you, you can build a better business which is easier said than done. Business should be fun, it should be enjoyable, and it should mean something to you. By working too hard, are you trading time in a transaction where, ultimately, it’s not worth?’
When it comes to her chance for her own mindful moments in Perth, Amanda laughs ’I’d like to hopefully pop over to Rottnest Island for a selfie with a quokka.’ Now that is relatable.
Amanda Stevens will be presenting at the Building Business Sessions for the HIA 2019 National Conference from 23 – 25 May.