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.
By By Paul Cardis, Avid Ratings Co. | October 31, 2007
The Green Company
Winning Strategies

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


The Green Company

Best Customer Experience in United States

Headquarters: Newton, Mass.

Chief Executives: Alan Green, chairman; David Caligaris, CEO; Daniel Green, president

Number of Employees: 60

Product: Luxury empty-nester market

Average Square Footage: 2,000

Average Price: $500,000

2006 Closings: 80

2006 Revenue: $40 million

Avid Index Score: 280

Home Buyers Willing to Recommend: 100%

Home Buyers Making Actual Referrals: 81.1% (11.3% making 6 or more)

Winning Strategies

  • Offer residential services. The Green Company provides home improvement services at reasonable rates to home buyers who need an extra level of customer care after closing. The company even offers a weekly home-watch service for homeowners while they are away.
  • Use homeowners as salespeople. The Green Company enlists the help of home buyers who volunteer to be ambassadors, networking with potential home buyers either by phone or at many special events every year. Only companies with legions of loyalists sell homes by connecting prospects with homeowners.
  • Create communities. By encouraging homeowner-sponsored special events such as game nights, Kentucky Derby parties and barbecues, The Green Company works with homeowners to provide social opportunities, which help build a real sense of community. A social calendar is posted on the company's Web site.

Check out the Avid Award winners

Avid Awards Main Page

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2007 Market Focus: Atlanta