When looking for an engineering firm, there are a few criteria potential clients evaluate to ensure the firm is a right fit. An engineering firm requires more than just good expertise in their field.
They also need good interpersonal skills to successfully communicate with customers as well as coworkers. Other criteria to note is any challenges they might face on a technical or organizational level.
To effectively evaluate an engineering firm’s efficacy and performance, here are 5 criteria that clients look at:
- Expertise and Success
Many analysts start off by analyzing your proven expertise by looking at past projects. Mention in great detail about your core strengths – MEP, structural, geotechnical, or environmental. If you are an all-round engineering firm, mention the top projects and their location that your firm handled.
It is important to note whether you’ve used the same technology now that was used to achieve these past successes.
Clients will analyze the team to determine if you are equipped with in-depth knowledge and expertise in the offering and not only have a surface knowledge that looks impressive.
- References and Testimonials
Having a good bank of references and testimonials on your website is very important to clients looking at hiring your firm. Ensure your reference list is well recorded with project names and descriptions as well as the client it was for along with their contact information.
For potential clients to have a window into other clients’ experiences will greatly increase your chances of being hired, especially if your references and testimonials put you in good standing within the industry. New clients can rest assured that they will receive the same good service you have offered in the past.
Therefore, your online presence, both in search engines and on social media matter a lot. Your firm can even use software to manage your reputation to keep this information current and in one place.
- Internal Audit Information
Making internal audit information available to potential clients will show transparency and prove that you are using quality equipment and materials, which will impress clients and impress them to know that you don’t take shortcuts or use sub-par materials and equipment.
Especially in the case of engineering firms that have a certification like the ISO9000, it is important for potential clients to see that your firm is well-certified and that you adhere to the regulations of such certifications. List out all the certifications and what engineering norms you fulfill. It could be safety of workers, on-site facilities you provide, waste disposal etc.
You should also be able to provide results of previous projects to potential clients, even if it means blacking out sensitive data belonging to other clients.
- Advertised Expertise
Ask yourselves: does our advertising do justice to our expertise? You need to be advertising the specific expertise you have, the services you offer and the past projects that show you truly do have the expertise in that department.
For example, if you have never handled a WTP or STP project, do not mention that even if you worked as a subcontractor. If your specialty is residential towers, stick to it. Don’t venture into the unknown territories lest you might ruin your reputation.
Potential clients are looking for something specific and if they don’t find it on your website or other marketing materials, they are likely going to find another firm that can handle their project.
Same goes for advertising the expertise and services that you don’t offer. Rather leave them out of your marketing, since you don’t have the past success and testimonials to back it up.
- Guarantee What You Can Absolutely Do and Nothing Else
If you stand behind what you offer and guarantee quality work on a set schedule at the given cost, then be certain that it's possible. If you guarantee something that you cannot deliver successfully and on time, don’t guarantee it.
This will only make you look bad in the future and potentially tarnish the good reputation you have. It takes only one bad testimonial to upset your reputation in the industry.
If somehow, you failed on some project in the past or there was a late handover, be ready with the true answers to justify that.
While guarantees may look appealing to potential clients, when you don’t deliver on them, you’re only going to end up with an unhappy client and possible backlog of work.