Winner – Affordable Housing
The Housing Forum-backed National Customer Satisfaction Survey only applies to new private housing, but United House is carrying out similar surveys of tenants on its projects, believing that all residents have the right to be satisfied with their home. Its survey asks customers to rate the contractor on a five-point “smiley-face” scale, and the responses are reported and acted on at monthly project meetings. Third
Southdale has made customer service a top management priority, with its customer care team reporting directly to the board of directors, and performance indicators reported to the board monthly, along with major customer issues. The company has also introduced more customer care computer software to allow housing association and private sales clients to report and monitor problems. Fourth:
Metropolitan Home Ownership
Metropolitan has empowered staff to respond quickly and efficiently to problems reported by customers with a management procedure called: Repairing the cracks in our defects service. The business also offers an independent money-management advice service, provided by CHAS, to help its customers stay in their homes.
Winner – Private Housing
As it has twice won this category, and is a top performer in the Housing Forum-backed National Customer Satisfaction Survey, there is no doubting Crest Nicholson has a good strategy, but it goes on improving. It has introduced the role of customer liaison manager to manage relationships throughout and beyond purchase and appointed an environmental manager to improve standards and increase eco-efficiency in home design. Third:
McCarthy & Stone
The retirement housing provider has launched a customer service improvement strategy and developed a range of marketing material, including posters, stickers, newsletters and a charter to make sure that everyone knows about it. The company also hosted seminars on the topic for staff, suppliers and subcontractors, and has started an awards scheme for regional offices getting the best satisfaction scores. Fourth:
Buyers at Berkeley Homes’ Royal Arsenal scheme in east London don’t have to ask how to maintain their home; the housebuilder provides a manual giving the low-down on the quirks of old buildings, details of common problems like condensation and a few tips on future re-decoration.
Building Homes Quality Awards 2003
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Best Customer Satisfaction Improvement strategy