Charlie Scott has more than 25 years of hands-on homebuilding experience, much of this in senior management positions with an award-winning, nationally recognized Midwest builder. He credits a "Voice of the Customer" firm as instrumental in his homebuilding company's strategic growth and success. Today, Charlie is an owner of that "Voice of the Customer" firm – Woodland, O’Brien & Scott – and helps North American home builders grow their own customer-centric cultures, pursue operational excellence, and increase referral sales. Charlie is an internationally known customer satisfaction expert and has presented keynote addresses in the U.S., United Kingdom and India. Charlie also authored the book, “Construction Knowledge 101” to help builder personnel in all functions understand the nature of homebuilding. He would love to hear you from you at: CharlieS@woodlandobrien.com.
I read thousands of customer surveys every year – THOUSANDS! This customer insight gives me a unique perspective on many home building topics, like today’s “Finding Your Special Agent 007s For Huge Sales Increases."
One of our customer satisfaction surveys' many purposes is to help identify “special builder agents.” By special agents I mean homeowners who are actively and effectively promoting their home builder by word of mouth, social media, etc. I am frequently amazed at the number of referrals that a satisfied homeowner can refer to their home builder. I recently had a client with over 500 referred prospects in the past six months alone!
All too often we find home builders who do not know the answer to the following important questions.
- What percentage of your sales is referral generated?
- What percentage of your homeowners is actively referring?
- Who are your top 10 referring homeowners and how many prospects have they referred?
Last week, I heard from a homeowner that had referred and “sold” 3 customers! I read another customer’s survey where they disclosed that they write a blog about their home builder and have sold homes as a result. In both cases, their home builders were totally unaware of these special agents and their sales producing behaviors. This lack of customer awareness/knowledge is costly, especially for home builders that do not survey their customers. Builders that do customer satisfaction surveys, identify these special agents and say "thank you," tend to get twice as many referral sales as builders who are clueless.
Why is it that we as builders (I was a builder for 20 years!) know the names of real estate agents that sold a single home in the past four years, but do not know the names of their own customers who are selling 30-40% of the builders sales – AND FOR FREE? Mind boggling isn’t it?
Do yourself and your company a favor – find your “special agent 007s” who are selling your homes and at least say “thank you.” You’ll be surprised at their response – more referrals!
This week’s management meeting question: “What is our referral sales rate and who are our special agents/top referring customers?”
If you would like to know more about strategic customer satisfaction surveys, or finding your special agents, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me at https://twitter.com/willing2refer .