“The customer is always right” is a phrase which is often blown completely out of proportion, because customers have a perception that their house will cause them no trouble and be hassle-free. People assume that all companies will go out of their way to please them, putting a huge amount of pressure on housebuilders, who may not have resourced any customer care infrastructure at all.
But, what are the customer’s expectations?
By definition, customer expectations refer to the perceived value or benefits that customers seek when purchasing a good or availing a service. Unfortunately, once established, these expectations can hold significant influence in decision-making processes and can be very hard to change. Developer’s often greatly underestimate the true cost of good aftercare, but is that the fault of the customer for having unrealistic expectations or is it our industry’s fault? Where did these high expectations come from?
Many markets, including ours, have come to realise that customer expectations will continue to rise and we will have to continue to keep up with them. Historically, customers have always expected basics such as quality service and fair pricing from companies – but modern customers have much higher expectations
Consumers expect to be treated like a person, rather than just a number, and there is no difference when it comes to house building. It is manufacturing by any other name and we need to understand the extremes that other manufacturers go to, to get their product right, to be competitive and ultimately successful. Buyers know exactly what they want, and they want it now, but if that doesn’t happen, they will shout as loud as is necessary to get some form of resolution.
Above all, customers expect exemplary customer service. They expect you to be empathetic, generous, solution-driven and ready to go above and beyond to help them. However, our industry is woefully unprepared to manage any large volume of customer complaints. As we have already touched upon, the majority of property developers to not have the requisite staff, systems or policies to respond to issues in a coherent manner. Once a homeowner has contacted them they would like a response, and fast, not stepping down until they hear the response they have been waiting for.
Based on these incredibly high expectations, developers look to outsource to a multifaceted company. Outsourcing often provides developers with a cost-saving, as the real costs of providing after care in-house can be rather extensive, which can initially be greatly underestimated. After Build has developed a range of services to help the developer to get their product right (first time) and increasingly devote a large amount of time to this activity.
Here at After Build, we specialise in providing customer services for new homes and completely understand the processes. We offer customer assistance, reflecting your own values, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, upholding the reputation of the prestigious developer on their behalf.
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