We understand it’s crucial for home builders to keep their customers happy. Your homeowners are a valuable source of testimonials and referrals that help your construction business thrive. In this post, we’ll look at four ways that working with a warranty partner can help you provide better customer service — ultimately resulting in happier homeowners and greater potential for positive testimonials and referrals.
1. Homeowner peace of mind
Your customers are likely making the biggest purchase of their lives when they buy a new home. Having an explicit, written warranty makes them feel more confident in the quality of your work. It demonstrates your professionalism. And when that warranty is backed by a third party, such as ProHome, it also provides an additional level of objectivity for your homeowners, which can’t be achieved if you manage your own warranty.
Some states have implied warranties, but these provide little peace of mind for homeowners — or for you — because they can be open to the courts’ interpretation. Everyone can sleep easier with a well-written warranty that avoids ambiguity.
At closing, homeowners sign the warranty document, so it’s all there in black and white. They know exactly what’s covered and what’s not. This means that when they phone with a concern, coverage is clearly and explicitly documented. When they call about an issue that’s covered by warranty, they can feel confident that it will be taken care of — because it’s all there on the document. (On the other hand, an explicit warranty makes it clear what isn’t covered and, when you work with a warranty partner like ProHome, we let your homeowners know when something isn’t covered. So you never need to be the bearer of bad news who’s saying ‘no’ to your customers.)
2. Homeowner education
If you work with ProHome as your warranty partner, we also provide homeowner education. This begins with the walkthrough prior closing, when one of our trained team members — we call them new home agents — points out the various features of your customer’s new home.
This helps your new homeowners feel confident that they know how to operate all the systems in their home — from the heating and air conditioning systems to the automatic garage door opener. This means they’re less likely to worry that something isn’t working as it should — because they know how to operate it properly.
We also provide education around maintenance. This means that your homeowners know how to keep everything in tip-top shape, and functioning at its best. This means they’re less likely to have problems.
Of course, it might be months before they need to use the heating, or some other specific system, so we also provide homeowner education on our website, which they can access at any time: home maintenance tips and how-to videos.
3. Emergency phone service, 24/7/365
Homeowners feel greater security when they know that if the furnace in their new home doesn’t work, they can call and talk with a real person who can help them out. If you want to provide a 24-hour service (including weekends and holidays) you’ll either have to pay staff overtime hours, or you’ll have to answer the phone yourself. But even if you give them your cell phone number, sometimes you’re driving or otherwise unavailable. This is another way a warranty partner can help you provide better customer service.
A warranty partner provides an emergency phone service. But also much more than that! If you partner with ProHome, we don’t just answer the phone.
We begin by triaging homeowners’ problems. Often they can be managed over the phone. If a homeowner wants to make a claim, we ask them to take photos of the issue and send them to us. The photos are usually sufficient for us to make a warranty determination. If not, one of our new home agents, local to your builds, will go out to take a look. If it’s something that does need fixing, we schedule one of your trusted subs to make the repair. If it’s not something covered by warranty, we’ll get in touch with you, so you can choose whether to make a good faith repair.
4. Dedicated account manager
Have you ever had to call for customer service, explained your problem to an anonymous ‘customer service representative’ (i.e. someone who answers the phone), and then when they were unable to help, you had to speak with a manager and repeat the problem to them? And when you called back the next day because the problem wasn’t solved, you had to speak to yet another person, and had to repeat yourself all over again?
This scenario is very frustrating for customers and it reflects poorly on a company when their customers are shunted around between anonymous call takers. Some third party warranty companies do provide a 24 hour phone service — but every time your customer phones they might speak with a different ‘customer service representative’ on another continent.
When you work with a true partner like ProHome, that’s not how it works. You care about your customers, so we care about providing them with excellent customer service. Every builder we work with has a dedicated account manager — someone you’ve met and talked with in person, and who’s familiar with the homes you build.
When your homeowners call us, they get to speak with the same person every time — your dedicated account manager. And your homeowners don’t need to repeat themselves, because your account manager is already familiar with the history of the situation. They have access to all the records specific to you and that customer — whether the customer previously called 5 minutes ago, 5 days ago, or 5 years ago. We believe this is the gold standard for customer service, and your customers do too.*If you’d like to learn more about how warranty management works, check out this post: How builder’s warranty management works: What you need to know
If you’d like to talk about how ProHome can help you provide better customer service, give Matt a call at (316) 706-0368 or email him at email@example.com.*If you know a builder who might find this post helpful, please share it.
Zena Ryder is a freelance writer who writes about the construction industry. You can find her at Zena, Freelance Writer and on LinkedIn.