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Saturday, June 29, 2019

Builders: Electronic Signature Key to Improving Efficiency & Satisfaction

Builder Hot Topics: Efficiency, Productivity, Buyer Experience

The Solutions Blog has devoted quite a bit of virtual space focused on improving efficiency and productivity -- particularly on the operations side of homebuilding. Take a look at recent Blog articles:

Efficiency, Productivity to Buyer Experience

We've also been talking about the Home Buyer Experience -- before, during and after the new home purchase:

One key concept emerges from all the articles highlighted above: the builder's universe is expanding! There aren't any islands left, in other words! Thinking about buyer experience is no longer limited to the sales office or marketing. It encompasses operations -- from construction to warranty, too. 

Efficiency can be thought of similarly: how long does it take your sales agents to process a sale? Do you have 25-40 documents ranging from Purchase Agreement to Options Orders to Avigation (yes; that's a real word!!) Disclosures?

Document Processing is More than Creation; Consider These Stats

How long does it take for your agent to generate these documents -- and how many signatures are required? Do you realize that 37% of documents are missing a necessary signature, initials or dates?

And, many people don't always consider the post-signature activities required to support documents: that's the proper collection, filing and retention. 51% of businesses report that some or all of the documents needed are mis-filed or lost!

Efficiency, Productivity Moves Beyond Operations!
In other words, are you certain that Lot 55's purchase agreement package is completely processed, stored properly and accessible?

Electronic Signature Can Go Beyond Purchase Agreements!

You're probably familiar with electronic document signature processing as it relates to purchase agreements (CPS CRM, for example, provides seamless integration with DocuSign to obtain signatures for all documents, distribute the documents amongst all necessary entities in a specified order and save a completely executed set). And, the value is not only for the builder: buyers appreciate the ease and ability to obtain and store a full set of accessible, executed documents. That doesn't even take into consideration processing a sale with buyers in multiple locations!

And, have you considered the value of electronic signature for your warranty/customer service operations? Why not provide your customer service rep or vendors with the ability to accept electronic signature on work orders via phone or tablet? CPS WarrantyWatcher does exactly that -- and keeps a copy in the lot's permanent history file, as well!

There's now another touchpoint (or two!!) for improving efficiency, productivity and the buyer experience!

Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Homebuilder Customer Service: A Critical Link

Homebuilder Customer Service is a Hot Topic

We've been talking about homebuilder customer service frequently this year; you can see earlier Solution Blogs here (Putting Metrics on Your Dashboard) and here (Add Focus to Actionable Customer Service).

Is Customer Service a Priority?

Value-Unique Motivates Referrals

Today's homebuyer and homeowner expect to receive a quality customer service experience. What will set your team apart is a value-unique experience. That's service that will generate posts, Tweets, and, most importantly, referrals. How to get value-unique?

Are You Prioritizing the "Most Important Department"?

There's a new Hanley Wood Construction Wire article asking, "What's the Most Important Department in Home Building?" and customer service emerges as a top contender! Author Jim Haffner points out that the "last person who interacts with customers leaves a lasting impression."

That doesn't mean that sales or construction (or estimating or accounting, for that matter!) aren't important. What it does seem to highlight is that customer service needs to be considered a critical component of the entire building process -- and that, sometimes, it is regarded as an afterthought.

Metrics: Effective Measurement Tools!
The last contact point can offer the most memorable experience -- frequently because your homeowner expected everything to already be in tip/top shape. No one likes to have to reach out for repair but... it does happen.

Go Quick, Consistent and Memorable

Why not make it as easy and straightforward as shopping on Amazon? CPS WarrantyWatcher provides a 24/7 Homeowner Portal so owners can quickly and easily submit a request directly to the customer service department -- complete with photos! And, they're able to use the same Portal for status updates and request history.

Go the extra step and ask your customer service rep or vendor to include a photo so they're able to check things out on their phone on the way home... isn't that value unique?

Key customer service terms: quick, consistent and measurable. You're able to take care of quick with the 24/7 portal! WarrantyWatcher also provides the metrics that allow for measurable! Do you know your longest outstanding Work Order? How about the most frequent warranty issue? How easily could you locate homes with a recalled microwave? Usable data is your friend in these cases!

Finally, there's the value in consistency as it will pay off in referrals. Your homeowners need communication -- not necessarily conversation! Keep them informed and they will be comfortable with your process -- even if that replacement part is taking time to arrive.

Technology Provides Desired SST

Technology facilitates your ability to deliver on your homeowner's expectations and there's really no other way to meet their need for SST (self-service technology). A recent Radial article summarizes:

Self-service channels consistently outperform other channels in terms of consumer satisfaction. Your homeowners love self-service because it reduces friction and provides immediate and consistent answers.