A recent study Watermark Consulting (2015) investigated the cumulative total stock returns for two model portfolios comprised of the Top 10 (“Leaders”) and Bottom 10 (“Laggards”) publicly traded companies in Forrester Research’s annual Customer Experience (CX) Index rankings and what they found was;
- the CX leaders outperformed S&P 500 companies by 35 points over 8 years
- the CX laggards came in 45 points LOWER than that of the broader market during the same time period
Trust is an important factor when managing a life changing purchase. Buying a new home definitely falls into this category as your potential homeowners are about to spend more money than they ever have before. Your purchases will be stressed and wanting to make sure that they’re making the right decision by choosing you as their builder. So how can you make them feel comfortable in the knowledge that YOU are the best builder for them and that you’ll make sure they’re in their dream house as soon as possible with a minimum of fuss?
Nail the basics, deliver pleasant surprises
- Provide regular updates on progress to your homeowners
By appointing a representative to take ownership of the construction process, you’re telling your customers that there’s a point of contact whose job it is to ensure their purchase is completed on time and meets quality standards. This person will be responsible for regular visits to the site to make sure all works are being carried out as agreed and are within expected time frames. This person should work closely with Customer Care so that any positive relationship that has been forged can be carried over to the Aftercare team after handover.
- Monitor and regularly review sub-contractor performance
Often, the finishing touches of a new build home are left to sub-contractors. To ensure that you’re getting the best possible outcomes, we recommend keeping a record of works carried out by sub-contractors and tracking the rate at which their work is being reported on pre-handover inspections. Should a particular sub-contractor’s quality of work start to decrease, you have a clear audit trail to prove under-performance and can take remedial action where necessary.
- Help your homeowners understand.
It’s highly unlikely that your new homeowner is from the Construction industry or has bought a new build home before. With this in mind, avoid using technical jargon or industry terms. If you absolutely must use technical terms, explain what you mean by these terms as early as possible. As it’s probably the largest purchase your customer has ever made, they will want to know how the project is progressing at each stage of the process. By using language that your homeowners can easily comprehend, you reduce the chances of confusion or misinterpretation causing any issues.
- Show your appreciation
There are over 3,000 companies that build new houses in the UK and out of all of those, your customers have chosen you. Be sure to demonstrate to your homeowners that you appreciate their business by paying special attention to what your client wants, remembering the specific details no matter how insignificant they appear to be. These small details may seem unimportant to you but it means a lot to your homeowners. Simple things like a welcome hamper on handover day or even a framed photo of your customers and their home can make a significant difference.
- Clean up after yourself!
We cannot stress this enough… After construction and fit-out is complete, you MUST do a thorough clean of the site to ensure it’s perfect for handover day. This includes removing all dust, appliance labels / stickers, any leftover construction material (except roof tiles which should be neatly stacked and stored out of sight) and most importantly any muddy footprints or vehicle tracks. In short, the finished product should look as fresh and clean as the Show Home your customers visited when they decided to buy from you. Builders and Tradesmen not cleaning up after themselves was one of the top 3 complaints about Housebuilders in 2016. Make sure you differentiate your business by going the extra mile.
In the age of social media, taking care of your customers has never been more important. Bad experiences can be shared with thousands of people instantaneously damaging your brand. Similarly, positive experiences can also be shared with a large audience strengthening your brand’s reputation. The clixifix platform offers a centralised communication portal for you, your homeowners, and sub-contractors allowing you to streamline your processes and increase efficiency leaving more time for your Aftercare team to spend looking after your homeowners.
clixifix is available on an obligation free, 30 day trial basis. No credit cards required. For more information, watch our introduction video below or visit our website www.clixifix.com.