Customer Service. Those are two words that are supposed to mean someone is out there ready to help us. Whether we bought a new sweater, some groceries, or a new home. The customer service department is the place we go if we have any questions, problems or just want to say thank you. They should always be there with a smile on their face ready to help. Yeah right!, Well it may not be true all the time, but there are many customer service people who really do take their jobs seriously and want to be helpful.
Every builder has a Customer Service department, and they are known as the face of the company. These people should be specialists in all aspects of the new home construction industry, and if there is something they can’t answer, they will research it for you. This is not an easy job, I am an expert on this subject because I was a Customer Care Manager for many years in After Sales Service. I can say that by the time the purchaser reaches the After Sales Service department, they have been waiting for their home for at least 2 years, they may have had their closing date extended, there may have been problems with their colour selections, and the list can go on and on. You may not be receiving a happy client. This is the time for Customer Service to shine.
This is the time for Customer Service to be a friend, advisor and good listener. They need to be able to put themselves in the shoes of their homeowners. Yes it can be very frustrating, but the homeowner looks to them to resolve any isses that may come up. They are expected to be cheerful, helpful, diligent, almost like a girl/boy scout. Even if they are cussed at, threatened, glared at, Customer Care must continue to smile and take it. Really? Well, no.
Respect is a two way street. Try to remember that a frustrated purchaser/homeowner spent a lot of money for their new dream home. It is understandable that they may feel anxious, anger and even sadness, even though this should be a very happy and exciting time. Does that excuse the cussing? No, but a good customer service department should be trained to diffuse a negative situation to avoid a confrontation. A seasoned customer service person who works in the new home construction industry, should be prepared to deal with human emotion appropriately. If they know when to stop to give their client the opportunity to cool down, they will find that a difficult situation can be turned around
I do not believe that a purchaser/homeowner has a secret agenda to cause trouble or to be difficult to work with, but quite a few of them really don’t know what to expect so emotions soar out of control. As I said in the beginning, Customer Service is the face of the company. If you want people to come back or to recommend your company to others, you have to be prepared to be the best you can be. Remember, respect is something that is earned. If you treat people with respect you will be respected in return.
I can promise that even if you are dealing with an out of control purchaser, and you are able to keep your cool, they will calm down and 9 times out of 10 they will apologize for any negative behaviour. It’s true because I have had the pleasure of befriending many angry homeowners who at first threatened me and cussed at me, and then ended up thanking me for being so understanding and helpful. They turn out to be the most compassionate people because it is people with passion who display the most emotion.