The quest for clients for life: Four keys to success for building long-term relationships

At The Hagerman Group, we’re thankful to have great clients—many of whom have been with us for decades. For this month’s blog, in the spirit of showing appreciation and paying it forward, Terry Greene, executive vice president, and Rob Young, vice president of business development, reflect on our “Clients for Life” approach and what it takes to embody that philosophy, no matter what industry you’re in.

1. Mind your clients’ business.

“The Hagerman Group prides itself on being a construction solutions provider and working through ‘what if’ scenarios,” Rob said. “We can provide value to long-term clients by understanding their people, their processes, and their goals. The more we know about their needs—now and in the future—the more we can offer proactive solutions. Every opportunity to interact with our clients, whether through a project or not, enhances that knowledge, deepens the relationship and increases our ability to quickly offer meaningful solutions.”

2. Stay on top of your game.

In addition to understanding your clients, it’s important to stay updated on innovations and advancements, both in their industries and in your profession. “The Hagerman Group focuses its work on five vertical markets—healthcare, educational, industrial, corporate, and institutional—and for good reason,” Rob said. “It helps us focus on what we do best, both for our clients and for our company. From recognizing technology’s effect on manufacturing to understanding advances in healing and learning, continued investment in our people, processes, and equipment helps us bring current and beneficial knowledge to our clients.”

3. Exceed expectations.

Long-lasting client relationships also come from continually looking for ways to add value. “Our student enrichment program—facilitated through The Hagerman Institute of Learning—is one way we’ve exceeded expectations,” Terry said. “This program engages our client’s client into the building process, which delights our K-12 and higher education clients.”

Another way The Hagerman Group works to exceed expectations is by maintaining the client relationship and tracking our projects. “We initiated our five-year performance follow-up program more than 35 years ago to measure how our completed facilities are working compared to expectations,” Terry said. “It also helps us keep in touch with the client.”

4. Keep clear of complacency.

Rob cautioned that a potential trap for companies is to become complacent and assume a client or customer will always be there. “The clients we’ve had for years describe us as a trusted partner, and we take that seriously,” he said. “It’s important to constantly work on those relationships, hold ourselves accountable, and continue to earn that partnership.”

“We understand that there can sometimes be dynamics that require clients to award work to other firms,” Terry added. “A ‘client for life’ may not necessarily mean an exclusive relationship, but an ongoing, mutually beneficial one that you continue to nurture, even when you’re not working together.”

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