The value of After Build’s service can be quantified by a range of measures, not least cost savings and improved service efficiency. Clearly different clients experience this in different ways; the extent to which (if at all) they are resourcing their customer care before taking After Build’s service and how much this is costing their business. Aside from the ability to significantly reduce overheads there are other substantial benefits that apply when outsourcing work:
- NO costs to recruit staff or handle staff turnover
- NO training costs
- NO costs associated with sickness and holidays
- NO need to provide office space, IT or line management
To provide some benchmarking, here are three case studies of three quite different companies. In each instance the amount of pre-existing resource varies from modest to extensive, against which we have been able to establish their true ‘customer care cost’ on a per plot basis. Each study is detailed in a pdf which can be opened, downloaded and printed.
A small family business building no more than 25 plots in a year. To date they have managed their customer care obligations with a combination of full and part-time Administrators (1 of each). Their knowledge and experience in handling occupants and diagnosing build defects has been gained ‘on the job’ – no formal training had ever been provided. In more recent years they began to feel the stress of rising consumer expectations and an increased tendency for homeowners to escalate issues to full-blown complaints very quickly; this ultimately led to the resignation of their full-time employee, leaving the business exposed.
After Build’s service achieved a cost reduction of 81% and improved performance by 63%.
This operation had grown quickly in a few short years achieving annual output of 50 plots. With a resource of two (both full-time) the lead was taken by a Customer Care Executive (ex-site) and supported by an experienced Administrator. The major issues, aside from a concern over costs generally, was that they had no system to reliably record every problem and track its progress as contractors were instructed to return and remedy defects. At 50 plots a year, the volume of issues was becoming unmanageable leading to complaints over the time it was taking to fix a simple problem. With a site/trade background, the Customer Care Executive was playing catch-up by personally attending plots to carry out minor repairs which, in turn, was merely compounding issues still further.
After Build’s service achieved a cost reduction of 74% and improved performance by 50%.
A sizeable company with a sales turnover in excess of £25M, the customer care department was formed around a part-time Administrator, a full-time Administrator , a Customer Care Executives and a Customer Care Manager. Recent commitment to an industry based system designed to handle defects was falling short of expectations (the presumption that a contractor receiving an instruction would be sufficient to ensure they did what was expected of them, was proving to be unrealistic). Additionally, a general lack of process and procedure was contributing to a sense amongst customers that the developer was disinterested in their concerns and unwilling to address them in a timely fashion. This certainly wasn’t the case, nonetheless perception is all.
After Build’s service achieved a cost reduction of 74% and improved performance by 40%.
A top 25 business with an annual output of around 600 plots, the customer care department was formed around two full-time Administrators, two Customer Care Executives and a Senior Customer Care Manager. Recruitment and training costs present a headache but of significant concern is ‘Management Distraction’. Largely brought about by the lack of really tight control where a site has problems that are not ‘nipped in the bud’ at the earliest stage. This is by no means untypical of larger operations and highlights the need for rigorous procedures with accurate reporting and good decision making.
After Build’s service achieved a cost reduction of 39% and improved performance by 25%.