CustomerInsightTM Blog

Category Archives: Insight

Couple standing in front of a new home with agent.

Facts of Selling New Homes

Selling To Today’s Customer

  1. Successful sales people ask more questions.
  2. Selling must be based on strategy … which must be based on customer purchase decisions.
  3. If a selling system is focused on how an associate needs to sell, rather than on how a customer buys, it is less likely to be successful.
  4. As pressure increases, a customer’s awareness of “Purchase Risk” increases, which causes sales effectiveness to decrease.9152570
  5. Buyers shop and shop and shop because they are concerned about the consequences involved with a bad decision.
  6. Buyers shop and shop and shop because they unconsciously know that “they don’t know … what they don’t know”.
  7. Associates that “Close” (offer solutions) before a “Need is Fully Developed”, end up with more objections to handle (developing is different than asking about a need).
  8. When they don’t have a strategy for selling, an associate’s focus turns toward relationship building and presenting.
  9. When an associate “sells” based on what a customer would get, price sensitivity will follow.
  10. Selling new homes is work. If you think you can get away with an order taking mentality, you will be replaced.Couple at real estate agencyToday’s sales success is directly proportional to helping customers realize the need for change. Let CustomerInsight help you gain insight. OnePlatform is the only software to monitor your prospective buyer experiences, customer satisfaction, employee and trade performance.

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Major Causes of Customer Dissatisfaction (and How to Make it Right)

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At CustomerInsight, we are constantly challenging conventional wisdom on the topics of customer perceptions, expectations and satisfaction and have some revealing facts from our research. After analyzing over 240,000 builder reviews, customers told us what their breaking point was where they behaved in a manner that they were embarrassed about afterwards.

Here are the Major Causes, and how to Avoid Them:

47% Workmanship Issues
Quality of delivery didn’t equal what the customers were shown, saw,  or expected when they purchased. Most customers point to poor trade selection and sloppy workmanship.
47% of customers say workmanship is the major cause of dissatisfaction
Solution:  Consider the real root-cause or influencing factors such as unrealistic scheduling of trades, site conditions, weather, incomplete statements of work or worse, no SOW’s or agreements in place, selecting the cheapest trades, etc.

21% Communication Issues
Most customers cite poor communication with builder personnel as the major cause of their dissatisfaction. “I was told one thing and received something totally different,” is a common statement on many builder reviews. Customers felt the employees were holding back from them, didn’t inform or advise them appropriately, issues with verbal and non-verbal communication, errors in marketing collateral, not setting proper expectations or realigning customer expectations. Remember, where there is a gap in the build process, your customers’ imagination will rush in to fill what they think it should be.
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Solution: Instead of pointing fingers, look at the company policies, protocols, training program, processes first that the team member is following. It could be their behaviour, but, most often, we find the root cause is a process issue that has been the culprit.

18% Issues Delivering on Commitments Made
Many companies are more focused on ‘WOWing’ customers than fulfilling plain-vanilla promises they said they would fulfill. This focus has caused internal conflict between departments, demotivated team members, increased staff turn-over, and increased customer dissatisfaction. Most comments from customers included examples of basic promises made in terms of appointments, outstanding work, information, next steps, even service gifts that weren’t delivered on.
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Solution: Companies should focus more on realistic, achievable commitments that are measurable and proven to create happy customers than formulating new ideas that causes confusion and turmoil internally on how to deliver a WOW experience.  Don’t set yourself up to fail, create a Universal Service guideline that your entire team can commit too and deliver.

14% Issues with Trust/Integrity
Starting with the sales experience through to orientation and possession/closing, an overwhelming number of customers share their discontentment with staff behaviours. Most often the customer points to a disagreement between what’s acceptable or not during a stressful time and ‘pushing’ through to completion when the customer doesn’t agree. “I don’t give you bad money do I”? Since 2010, there has been a steady increase in the number of complaints where customers state they ‘lack the trust’ they had when they purchased from their builder. This impacts us all in the residential homebuilding industry and the number one reason why more potential buyers seek other sources of information rather than dealing directly with new homes sales representatives.

Solution:  Start by identifying what is being promised to the customer. Listen to how your team interacts with the customer and what they say. We hear people stating all the time that a trade will be ‘right over’ to fix that when in reality, it’s probably a couple of months. Those two words are cemented in the customers mind and if you can’t deliver on that, you’re loosing trust.

Also, work with your team to identify what you can do throughout the build process to maintain that trust.

At CustomerInsight, we focus on uncovering valuable insights for home builders and trade partners. Our custom-designed software can provide meaningful feedback collected from customers based on each of our client’s specific process and terminology. The results is detailed research customized to our builders’ needs.
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Organizational Misalignment Impacts Customer Experience

Customer-Certified™” companies all have one thing in common, an obsession with delivering exceptional customer experiences. Yet, some continue to be out of sync, lack the focus or drive to get everyone onboard.

So, what can you do?

Create a compelling case for a Customer Experience Program. One of the most often asked questions is how can I get executives to buy-in to the idea. This includes reviewing any customer comments in emails, phone calls, in-person feedback. Speak with the front-line and ask how many problems they are hearing from customers. Compare the cost to service post-possession versus doing it right the first time. Finally, always look at the source and come up with solutions to present. Most executives will agree that they hear about problems, but, don’t always understand the cause.

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Your front-line can offer key insights into what a customer wants.

Create a customer experience team that includes representatives from different functions. Alignment is about the collective action of the entire group and helps remove silos or functional boundaries.

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Map your customer journey from the outside-in. Start making bullet points from the time customers search online to the sales centre visit, selections, construction through past orientation and living in their new home. Document each milestone, task, how it is accomplished and who is responsible for that task. Bottlenecks will quickly appear in the process.

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The result? A clear focus for the entire team that centres on the best possible customer experience.

 

Gauging Customer Loyalty

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A question we often get is whether or not measuring referral potential is a sufficient gauge of customer loyalty. What do you think?

Consider the difference between loyalty and referral.

In a simple example, a loyal customer is one who talks positively about you and/or your brand without asking them or giving them incentives to do so. They won’t consider alternatives and frequently spread the word about you without you prompting them.

A referral, on the other hand, is the act of referring someone that most often carries the incentive or program behind it to prompt the customer to do so.

Our research proves they are not only different, but, the drivers of true loyalty are different than what some may expect and begs the question, if you intend to measure loyalty, measuring referral on its own, may not be sufficient.

Our research proves that reducing the customers effort or energy throughout the build process is a significant factor and more compelling than measuring referral.

Customer Effort Score (CES) determines the degree of required customer effort during a service process. Builder-Customer interaction happens at several service touch points. The efficiency of builder service is determined by how precise, convenient and helpful it is for the customer. The better the service, the customer effort would be lower, which in turn result in higher customer satisfaction.

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In terms of survey scores, CES is directly proportional to how loyal customers are. Any customer who has felt that their builder’s process was easy and the amount of effort needed to understand the process was less will result in a higher score. The higher the score, the better is the service delivery process.

What are you after, customer loyalty or customer referral?

Driver of Customer Loyalty by Kaptan Singh, Research Analyst, Customer Insight.

Managing Response Rates

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Ever wonder how many of your customers respond to builder reviews, how many they complete, don’t complete and why?
How about those who elect to remain confidential, ever get any of those?

Here are some interesting facts about respondents:

Fact:  80% of respondents who elect to be confidential state one of two reasons for withholding personal information:
1.  Scared of the builder staff lashing out at them or treating them poorly.
2.  Ending up on the, “will get done last”, list.

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Fact:  The highest response rates are received between 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. Monday to Friday. Where are we, typically, during that time?

Fact:  The average response rate across Canada is 67%. Companies who set expectations of the builder reviews throughout the process and utilize CustomerInsights’ program collateral have realized as high as 82%.

Fact: 18% of customers love to talk with our Survey Administrators. Longest recorded call to date, 1hour 37 minutes and 47 seconds!

 

What’s New:
In CustomerInsights’ OnePlatform software, under ‘Response Rates’, you can click on a month to view the detailed breakdowns of respondents versus non-respondents. We have now added even more information to help explain “Undeliverables”, such as unable to contact via email, home phone, work phone, etc. based on information collected from our attempts to contact your customers. This will help your team identify areas where CustomerInsight may need more accurate or updated contact information of your customers.

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Welcome to our new Blog

I’m excited to introduce you to our new blog  – the perfect complement to the launch of our new website.

Christian Caswell
Christian Caswell

This is where we plan to share our thoughts on our customer experience software, OnePlatformhow users get the most from the many features/functionality and post the next big ideas that will shape & challenge our industry.

Our team of industry professionals, customers and subject matter experts will help you get the most out of the many features in OnePlatform. From tips & tricks to experience trending, our user group will help translate analytics into profit.

We also plan to give you updates on CustomerInsight activities, including the latest news on our software release, CustomerConnectHomebuyer portal. Or, we may just share whatever is on our mind.

A look back: A very fast start
We’ve  come a long way since launching CustomerInsight early 2009. Inviting  builders, customers, trades/suppliers, Industry experts and statistics/psychology professionals to participate on a game-changing software platform that would revolutionize how companies collaborate, operate, and perform.

We had no idea what kind of response we would receive for our new program.
The results were beyond excellent: We were thrilled to announce our first few builder clients within the first week of operations followed by six more the next month. Then 15, then 27 and before we knew it, 715! In a short five years, we had successfully positioned CustomerInsight as the leader in Prospective Buyer, Customer, Employee, and Trade/Supplier research.

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The Next Step
Now we want to share your experiences and continue our customer relations.  We invite you to ask questions and tap into the expertise of our specialists.  As this new blog continues to take shape, we look forward to hearing from you.