Are you keeping your customers appropriately informed? No. Wait. That’s the wrong question. Here’s the right question. Would your customer say that you’re keeping them appropriately informed? Let’s talk about customer care in new home sales and how to establish communication patterns.
During the contract to closing period, the biggest deficit in most homebuilders’ process is the failure to frequently and proactively communicate construction status with home buyers. But you already know that keeping customers informed is an important part of the job.
You did know that, right?
But there’s a nuance at play here. There is a subtlety that you have to be aware of. It’s not just about keeping them informed it’s about keeping them informed without them having to ask. That’s critical, and I talk about it extensively in my new book, From Contract to Close, coauthored by the great Bob Mirman. From Contract to Close is now in presale, and you can go here to preorder the book at a lower price than you’ll get on our launch day in September.
We have a chapter of the book dedicated to this kind of communication pattern, one that keeps you ahead of your customer and how often they hear from you. And it is so, so critical that you do just that.
Consider the mental processing that occurs when a home buyer does not hear proactively from their salesperson. What happens when they cross the line into believing that if they don’t call for an update, they won’t be updated? The questions go unanswered. The doubts begin to appear, and then begins the psychological phenomenon called catastrophizing.
Catastrophizing happens when a customer begins to conjure up a worst-case scenario. In time, the customer believes that if they do not initiate communication, they’ll be left entirely in the dark. Psychologists have defined this basic principle in the absence of information, we tend to think that the worst will happen. Most of the negative comments received in homebuyer satisfaction evaluations are about a lack of effective communication.
Although many of these complaints mention the failure of the salesperson to respond in a timely fashion or not at all, most of the communication complaints were about being kept in the dark, not told about all of their options, not given sufficient and timely information about the status of their home’s construction or the loan status and only being given information if the buyer first posed the question.
That lack of proactive communication is the primary point of failure requiring urgent improvement. Think about the journey from your customer’s viewpoint. This is one of the most important transactions of their entire life. The process is mentally all-consuming. Customers lose sleep thinking about the details, the issues, their hopes, and their dreams.
But nothing keeps them awake more than the fear of the unknown. Their uncertainty keeps their anxiety at a high level. Customers who are not proactively informed feel very much alone and abandoned. In time, the relationship becomes adversarial. They become labeled by the builder as a “difficult buyer” simply because they’re asking about things that should have been told to them in the first place.
Some people will be difficult, no matter what you do. My concern is with the buyers who do not start out being difficult but are forced into a more aggressive stance in dealing with their builder, simply as a self-protective act. Your only option, get in front of the request. Talk to them before they talk to you. Be proactive. Serve them the way that you would want to be served.
To learn more about effective communication with your buyers and even more customer care topics, preorder your copy of my new book From Contract to Close today.
Until next time, learn more to earn more!