Are Your Customers Satisfied?
March 04, 2010
While the economy is down, homebuyer customer satisfaction of new homebuilders is up. According to the 2009 U.S. New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study from JD Power & Associates, www.jdpower.com, Westlake Village, Calif., overall customer satisfaction of new homes improved last year.
However, how can you truly tell if your customers are satisfied with the home and quality of service? Technology can help builders survey clients on new homes and the construction process, as well as allows builders to track responses and view reports, which will lead to more improved overall customer gratification.
Many CRM (customer-relationship management) systems include automated surveying features to allow builders to question clients and determine the overall quality of customer service. Most recently, Meritage Homes, www.meritagehomes.com, Scottsdale, Ariz., switched to a new application for customer satisfaction surveys.
As of this year, AVID Ratings, www.avidratings.com, Madison, Wis., will be conducting research and providing the technology for Meritage Homes to track customer satisfaction throughout the build lifecycle.
Meritage will be tracking all of the construction processes and the overall homebuying experience for customers. The survey will question sales, personnel, quality of service, the materials used, quality of workmanship, and referral potential of homebuyers, among others.
This information will then be collected and presented to the Meritage management team. The team will be able to access all the information online through AVID Reports. The ability to track this information will be made available immediately to the homebuilder, meaning the company will be able to respond to any pressing concerns.
Based on this information, Meritage will then be able to make critical decisions on how to improve each customer’s experience moving forward.
According to JD Power & Associates, nine factors are analyzed in the 2009 U.S. New-Home Builder Customer Satisfaction Study to determine overall customer satisfaction. These factors include workmanship and materials, builder’s warranty and customer service, price and value, builder’s sales staff, construction manager, home readiness, recreational facilities provided by the builder, builder’s design center, and location.
These might be good factors for builders to consider surveying customers about in the year ahead. While Meritage Homes is just one example, builders can turn to a number of CRM and service solutions to help gauge customer satisfaction.