Author Topic: House builders could easily do more for buyers with problems  (Read 3036 times)

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House builders could easily do more for buyers with problems
« on: February 28, 2015, 10:27:28 am »
I came across this suggestion on a Facebook Barratt Buyers Action Group and it is such a great simple idea I believe it deserves greater publicity and expansion. In a world of fast connected IT and databases the idea/suggestion that all house builders (or the those that could be bothered and care) should:

Set up a cloud-based customer care website a bit like those used in schools for inter agency information regarding families and safeguarding. The customer could input their concerns, defects or snags and then all relevant people are automatically notified. As the work is done it is marked 'complete' by company. It would only regarded as 'fully complete' after the customer has signed it off perhaps with a comment.

Different aspects of work or particular defects would have automatic timescales applied. If these are exceeded, then it is automatically escalated to next manager up. Again automatic timescales if not completed or met until they get to the senior management could also be automatically sent to the NHBC or warranty provider. That way they would also know which house builders were better at either having fewer defects and/or quicker at sorting them out.
This system would enable everyone to know and see what is going on (or not) by accessing their system on a real-time basis. The customer, sub contractor doing the work, site manager, contracts manager, customer care manager, regional managing director, area director and main board right up to CEO would all know what is going on at any given time.
This would avoid the problem and delay in communications. Responsibility could automatically be reassigned when particular staff are on leave or sick.

After a while house builders could make it public with statistics (or league tables) to show how good they are doing and promote quality building and customer service. You would only need a skeleton service department, cutting overheads and miss-communication. Managers could easily track problems, check costs, interact with  customers to offer prompt responses and help. Even have an option to skype a meeting making decisions even faster. All done over the Internet at minimal cost, saving on costs through simplicity by reducing calls and regional staff.

It would appear that at most of the major house builders,  according to their customers, nobody seems to know what needs to be done or who's doing what...

It would put the care back in "Customer Care"   Every employee would be accountable for customer care, there would be no hiding place. No "I wasn't told" excuse.  It would actually cost house builders LESS to administer than their current set-ups - if that is they even exist!

Over to you:
Pete Redfern, Jeff Fairburn, David Ritchie, Steve Stone, Mark Clare, Steve Morgan, Ted Ayres, Greg Fitzgerald.
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