Last month, I attended NAHB’s midyear meeting in Miami and had the pleasure of sitting in on a presentation by Daniel Swift, president and CEO of Des Moines-based architecture group BSB Design.
Better than the Warranty
The Green Company values its customers. The company doesn't see an ending when the customer closes on their new home; they see a beginning.
Closing on a home should signal the continuation of a customer relationship, not the end — especially if you hope to garner future referrals. That's why The Green Company's customer care group focuses so much attention on customer satisfaction during the warranty period. "We recognize how people feel at the end of that process is more important than how they feel at the closing," says President Daniel Green. It's no surprise, with this philosophy, that this high-performance home builder is the first company to win the Avid Diamond Award for Best Customer Experience in the United States two years in a row.
The Green Company President Dan Green, standing at left, chats with homeowners at the annual picnic, one of many events held for customers.
The Green Company has developed a customer communications system based on 45 points of contact throughout the home buying and post move-in experience. This ensures continuous communication with buyers from the time they first visit a model home through closing and beyond. Whereas some builders might find such a defined communications strategy restricting, it actually positions the company to deliver personalized service. By having an overall system in place, "it allows our team to rely on routine customer communications, freeing up more time for us to adjust and respond to individual needs," says CEO David Caligaris.
In addition, the company follows up most service requests with a phone call to confirm proper execution and delivery. Home buyers are asked whether the repair personnel arrived on time, whether it was a positive experience and whether the home buyer was delighted with the team's performance. If the home buyer is not happy about something, changes are made to rectify the issue and prevent the problem from recurring. "The key is that we really care about our homeowners," says Lois MacIsaac, customer care manager.
This commitment to long-term customer delight is why The Green Company is this year's repeat winner of the Avid Diamond Award, with 100 percent of its customers willing to recommend the company. More importantly, this unprecedented level of customer delight produces more than 50 percent of the builder's sales from direct referrals. Customer loyalty is the key to success in all market conditions, and The Green Company capitalizes on this asset the best.
In today's market, every delighted customer means real earnings potential in the form of active referrals. "If you get two or three home buyers a year who are unhappy, they talk with other potential buyers and it has a real impact, especially since we actively try to connect our homeowners with prospective purchasers," says Dominique Sampson, marketing director.
|Topic||Difference in Score Above Industry Average|
|Landscaping and Grading||18.6|
|Time Until Closing||17.0|
|Available and Informative||15.5|
|Home Was Clean and Ready||15.5|
|Number of Orientation Problems Corrected||15.1|
Check out the Avid Award winners