The HBF Customer Satisfaction Survey is out.

Clixifix takes a deeper look at the results.

The HBF Customer Satisfaction Survey has been going for over 10 years now and is offered to purchasers of new homes in the UK.  The survey asks customers a variety of questions and covers aspects of the entire construction process from sales through to delivery and after-care.

With the results now published, Clixifix decided to take a closer look at the results and what we found was interesting to say the least.  The HBF offer a star rating to residential builders which is based around the percentage of customers that would recommend their builder to their friends, similar to a net promoter score.  The star system breaks down as follows;

hbf-stars

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Of the 35 residential builders that were included in the survey, 15 (40%) received the top rating of 5 stars, 17 (48%) received 4 stars, 3 (8.5%) received 3 stars and 1 (2.8%) received 2 stars.  This is somewhat alarming for the industry as a whole as it says that customer satisfaction remains an issue that is yet to be rectified.

Diving a little deeper into the results we find that 18% of customers surveyed indicated that they were not happy with the handover process.  This is almost 1 in every 5 customers!  Now, we can understand that there will always be some defects and / or repairs that need to be made and customers appreciate that there will be problems.  In fact, 36% of survey respondents indicated that there were more problems than they had expected.  Is the problem then that customers have unreasonable expectations?  38% of customers reported more than 10 problems with their newly built house… 38%!  Let that sink in, that’s more than a third of all customers.

defect-reports

Given that more than a third of your clients are likely to report more than 10 defects, it’s critical that the defect management process is smooth and professional.  The HBF survey indicated that 17% of customers were actively dissatisfied with the Defect Management process / Customer Care and a further 10% were ambivalent.  This means that over a quarter of new home customers did NOT have a positive experience.  Given that personal referrals are the easiest way to generate new customers, reducing this number is critical to growing your building business.

So how do you go about improving your Customer Care?  According to Which? Magazine (a consumer advocacy publication) the top 3 complaints about residential builders were;

  • Poor Communication
  • Timing Issues
  • Poor Quality Work

Addressing these issues will go a long way to improving your Customer Care and earning referrals from your happy customers.  This is where Clixifix can help.  By utilising the Clixifix web-based portal, builders, customers, and sub-contractors can create, assign and action any defect or repair with all contact recorded for future reference.  The sub-contractor can accept a job, let the customer and builder know when the job will be completed and the customer can confirm once the ticket is closed.  This allays both the poor communication and timing complaints however where Clixifix excels is by adding accountability to all parties.

When raising a defect notice, customers are able to take a photo of the defect and attach it to the ticket.  Upon completion, sub-contractors too can upload a photo of their completed work ensuring the builder and customer can see the quality of the work.  This is paired with the ability to digitally sign off (with your own signature) on the work as both the contractor and the customer, eliminating any ‘he said / she said’ issues.

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Handover and warranty period is where the majority of customer complaints originate so it’s critical that customers are kept in the loop and treated respectfully in order to maintain a positive experience.  Investing in Clixifix’s Customer Care solution to manage the Handover and Defect Management process will not only save your business money by reducing response times and streamlining sub-contractor management, it will also help to grow your business by generating happier customers who are more likely to recommend your business to their friends.

A FREE 30 day trial of Clixifix is available here so why not try it on your next development to witness for yourself the difference it will make to you, your customers and your sub-contractors.  Should you wish to discuss how Clixifix can be tailored to suit your business, please feel free to submit an enquiry here.

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