WHY OUTSOURCE CUSTOMER CARE?
Outsourcing by businesses in general has become popular and is smart practice these days. Hiring others to do particular jobs alleviates pressure and ensures high quality work by specialists in a given field.
Developers are no exception and have for many years outsourced a range of services including:
Architecture and design
… “Customer Care” is another very obvious service.
Outsourcing means a sharing of problems and the re-distribution of responsibilities; since these specialists are focusing on a particular aspect of the business, the quality of the product is sure to increase. With professional reputations, business rises and so does success for everyone.
When companies outsource, they gain a leg up in terms of skills and experience. The smaller the organisation, the greater the advantage. To put this into context, the minimum Customer Care resource necessary to provide cover Mon-Fri, normal office hours is 2 people – each trained to understand how the warranty works and how to diagnose a build defect (remember, this isn’t a call centre, it’s a dedicated resource able to operate professionally and navigate effectively between warranty build standards, contractors and homeowners).
The cost in Year 1 to recruit, train, develop and support a Property Coordinator is £32K per head – and you need 2, one to cover the other during holidays and absenteeism. The on-costs are then for System (a recognized CRM platform) a unit Manager (or the shared costs of an existing manager picking up the additional responsibilities of Customer Care) and office accommodation.
After Build has this and has it in sufficiently large numbers to accommodate 10 more plots or 5,000 more plots. Our cost base is as low as it’s possible to achieve; given our economies of scale we’re able to provide a FIXED-PRICE service. As a client, you know what we will charge from the outset (on a per plot month basis) – this will never change, irrespective of the call/defect volumes we subsequently receive.
WHAT PROSPECTS HAVE TO SAY …
“No one can know our business better than us …!” That may well be true if we were proposing to run your business for you – but we’re not. We do however understand how to manage homeowners and fulfil your warranty obligations better than anyone else … it’s what we do for a living and we’re experienced specialists at this.
“You expect us to trust you with our brand and reputation …!” Frankly yes. Developers will trust a host of sub-contractors they have little or no prior relationship with to construct the development, how different are we in that regard?
“We can handle our own customer care …!”
This may be true, but let’s be very clear with our understanding of what constitutes ‘Customer Care’. Answering the phone is not Customer Care. Leaving a message for the site manager to call round to a property is not Customer Care. Assuming every problem is or is not a legitimate build defect is also not Customer Care.
Our Property Coordinators ‘own’ each and every call they take, diagnose the problem (to determine defect legitimacy), record the details on the system, instruct the contractor, arrange the appointment, close the job on satisfactory completion and provide clear explanatory reporting on demand 24/365.
“We’ve subscribed to software …!” Technology is an important ingredient in the provision of Customer Care and we certainly couldn’t deliver our service without it. But be careful – a software package in isolation is no solution … subscribing to one of the many accounting packages doesn’t make you an accountant any more than access to a property system will remove the need for skilled, trained experienced operators who understand the industry, are well acquainted with the warranty requirements and know how to diagnose a defect.
WHAT CLIENTS HAVE TO SAY ….
“Our single most effective post-build resource is provided by After Build” Steve Akeju, Spenhill
“Hard working, innovative and a pleasure to have as partners” John Shelbourne, Crest Nicholson South
“We entrust all aspects of our post-build obligations to After Build” Brett Hamblin, Reside Developments
“We are impressed with After Build’s management expertise in this sector” Steve Taylor, Radian Group
“Their directors are savvy and genuine – their people dedicated and enthusiastic” Eddie McGilycuddy, McLaren Group