There’s a saying that goes: “We have two ears and one mouth, so we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
How often do we actually put this into practice? If Google and Facebook reviews have taught us anything, it’s that home buyers have a lot to say, and don’t have a problem sharing it…even publicly.
So what if, as a home building industry, we changed our perspective on customer feedback? Rather than trying to hide it or filter it, we embrace it (yes, even the negative). Like it. Welcome it. Act on it. Even better, what if we were to tell you that you could even control it?
As home builders, we typically send out surveys at a few points in the home building process. These surveys are packed with 30+ questions, and ask our buyers to rate everything from the plumbing in their new home to cabinet hardware.
These are the primary times home builders reach out to home buyers for feedback:
- After exiting the Model Center
- 30 days after Close
- 1 year into their warranty
These surveys, while valuable, also present missed opportunities. The home buying experience is filled with ups and downs. Excitements and uncertainties. Celebrations and fears. However, asking customers to summarize those experiences infrequently and in ballpark timelines, can dilute the information, forcing them to recall from memory rather than from real-time emotions. Additionally, if negative feedback is shared, the window of opportunity to fix it has long since passed. Ultimately, issues that go unfixed or unheard, can end up on Holly Homeowner’s Facebook page. Leaving you with a public dilemma.
Instead, asking customers to recap their real-time experiences will provide you with real-time insights. It shows that you are proactive and sincerely want to hear (and improve upon) their feedback.
Here are a few other important moments that you should consider collecting customer feedback:
- After meeting their construction manager
- After design studio appointment
- After every walk-through
- Once their fireplace is installed
- Moments after closing on their house
- After the first warranty item is fixed
This strategy also gives you the control to re-engage them before they take their frustrations to social media or word-of-mouth ranting. Or, on the other hand, can promote positive customer reviews by asking for a public review while they are still experiencing gratification.
It’s no secret that companies with the highest customer enthusiasm scores are those who also value customer feedback, and more importantly, make it a focus of their customer experience strategy. If you are a home builder who’s ready to make customer feedback the backbone of your voice of the customer efforts, timeliness and proactivity are the keys to success. Create a feedback program that not only collects data but also embraces customer sentiment and promotes a positive brand perception — that’s something everyone can share.