A mediocre standard of customer service is no longer acceptable in today’s world. So, why do our major housebuilders continually deliver poor quality homes and customer service, for today’s new-build homebuyers?

It is incredible, how some, but not all, of our national house builders, find it acceptable to poorly treat their customers once they have taken possession of their new home, especially when trying to resolve their defects. There are a lot of recurring problems in new build houses, take a look at our Medium blog for more information.

I regularly see how this has a huge effect on customers, spoiling the excitement and experience of owning a brand-new home.

The biggest concern is customer care departments. These are often filled with people who either do not care, have little or no knowledge of how a newly built home is constructed. They also don’t know about the standards they should be built too and are totally unable to empathise with their customers.

Yet, these companies tell you how great their product is and how their customer service is second to none. Trust me it is not if they can save money without fixing your defects they will, it is a commercial business after all.

Put yourself in the shoes of your customers

But, how fantastic would it be if their customer care teams were able to put themselves in the shoes of their customers, experiencing how they are treated, ignored, fobbed off, bullied, and generally not listened too, ending in the customer feeling disillusioned, frustrated, angry, neglected and unappreciated?

Customers have to fight to get their defects rectified, or worse, not knowing if any defects are likely to be rectified at all by their builder. This leaves customers feeling disillusioned, just a number and not important, wishing they had never bought a newly built home.

Communication is one area that could be improved upon, this is sometimes missing in some customer care departments, along with sufficient resources to manage customer care promptly without causing undue stress to their customer.

What any unhappy customer wants above anything else, is to know that their defects will be rectified, first time, preferably without creating more defects, which need to be fixed yet again, following the first attempt.

Organised at a time to suit all parties, without it taking weeks or months of stress, trying to get defects fixed, being drip-fed trades, instead of all relevant trades, arriving on the same day. How good would that be, Hallelujah?

Housebuilders need to appreciate their customers have spent a huge amount of money, buying their new home from them. Those customers that do complain but are not dealt with to their satisfaction are then only too happy to voice their dissatisfaction to anyone that will listen.

Now is the time to manage the expectations of your customers, satisfying any unhappy customers, concentrating on delivering exceptional customer service, (it’s in the words).

Unfortunately for this to happen, whole new systems would need to be put in place as the onsite quality controls builders currently have, do not work. They are aware of this and are still happy to produce new homes that are defective because they know, new home buyers have no recourse against the builder, to rectify their defects.

Even the Government has realised something needs to be done about the poor quality of newly built homes, and earlier this year announced that a new homes independent Ombudsman would be set up to help improve the quality of newly built homes.

Will this help new home buyers, only if it is truly independent, with no interference from our national housebuilders.

Until then, newly built home buyers are going to have to fight for their rights and insist their defects are rectified. Unfortunately, the only lever newly built homeowners have is the HBF and NHBC survey the will receive 6-8 weeks after legal completion. Do not sign this survey until you are 100% happy all defects have been resolved to your satisfaction.

Find further information here.

But whilst some housebuilders are achieving 5* status they are not interested, and all the other builders who do not achieve 5*are trying hard to get there.

5* status does not produce quality homes, it’s a ranking system for the housebuilders.

There are so many unhappy new build homeowners on social media, you would expect house builders to do something about it. With social media providing customers with a powerful voice and a very wide reach, it has never been more important to approach complaints in a sensitive and caring way. Housebuilders should look upon these complaints as an opportunity to identify and correct problems within their business. Find the best professional snagging company is the most important aspect of ensuring your home is safe and up to a good standard.

Happy customers whose complaints have been listened to and resolved in such a way that it meets or exceed their expectations can turn into a powerful ambassador for their business

It’s time for change

Hearing back from my customers is one of my favourite aspects of professional snagging, explore more to find other testimonials from my customers. It’s time for a change, time for building companies to start caring for their customers. Each positive customer experience makes working in this industry even better, here is what one of my customers had to say about Lively Professionals.

“Ian’s services were brilliant for our new build home

We hired a professional snagger because we were worried about what quality our new build house would be built to. The night before we thought that maybe it would be a waste of money because the home looked really well done. However, we are really glad that we hired Ian. He spotted several key things that we managed to get fixed from the developer without any push back and it really is a small price to pay to ensure peace of mind and the best possible quality house from the start. Ian clearly knows his stuff after a long career in the industry, was super friendly, taking his time and also fully available for questions before, during and afterwards. We highly recommend Ian and think all new build owners should take up his services.”

Derek

To book an inspection or for more information, you can contact me or explore our services online.

Lively Professional Services Ltd

New Build Snagging Inspections

 

Ian Lively, Managing Director at Lively Professional Services. Housing and Snagging Survey Expert with over 40 years of experience.