Woodland, O'Brien & Scott

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

Have you set customer satisfaction goals for 2012?

December is often the time of year that many home building companies finalize their 2012 goals and budgets.   Management meticulously reviews past sales performances, hard costs, personnel budgets, etc., and set both goals and budgets for 2012.   Once each line item is discussed and approved, these bugeteers ask managers to sign off on this plan as their commitment to 2012 excellence.  Seldom do we see customer satisfaction goals handled with this same degree of foresight and commitment.  Why is this?

When it comes to customer satisfaction, too many home building companies treat customer satisfaction as a collection of subjective individual behaviors rather than objectively measureable outcomes.  The problem with having this subjective outlook on customer satisfaction is just that – it is subjective.  We encourage builders to treat customer satisfaction as a set of objective outcomes, as measurable as sales, hard costs, slippage, and warranty costs.  As such, we encourage home builders to establish, collect, and analyze customer feedback in order to manage their team to higher levels of Sales, Selections, Construction, Warranty and ultimately Referral Sales performances.    And don’t forget about measuring TEAMWORK to make sure that all the individual efforts are coordinated for the betterment and benefit of the entire home building team. 

Can these customer satisfaction behaviors really be measured?   You bet they can!  Top performing home building companies have 38 Key Areas of Performance (KAP) they measure and manage on a regular basis to make sure their customers are consistently receiving best in class customer service throughout their entire home building experience.   In addition to financial metrics, Top Performing Builders also benchmark their customer satisfaction KAP against other best in class builders!

The purpose of today’s blog is to 1) make sure forward thinking home builders have also set their 2012 Customer Satisfaction expectations and budgets and 2) help homebuilders think objectively about customer satisfaction.  After all, “those things that are measured, conform” – and this is equally true in customer satisfaction.  How do you measure up? 

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