Corporate Social Responsibility Interactive Report



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Customer Care

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WE FOCUS ON CONTINUOUSLY IMPROVING THE QUALITY OF OUR BUILD, FINISH AND CUSTOMER COMMUNICATION >>
SUMMARY
Our Aim To offer our customers unrivalled and consistent quality of product and service
Our Priorities
  • Ensuring a customer service culture
  • Customer satisfaction
  • Fair treatment of customers
  • Quality of build and finish
  • Handling complaints
  • Communicating with customers
2004 KPI Measurements UK Business
  • 86% of customers would recommend us to friends and family
  • 65% customer care score as highlighted by customer questionnaires

US Business
  • 86% of customers would recommend us to friends and family
  • 28.0 escalated customer complaints (Code Purples) per 1,000 completions
  • 22% sales from referrals
  • 77% customer satisfaction rating of the overall experience
Our aim is to offer our customers unrivalled and consistent quality of product and service. We want to make the process of selecting, purchasing, decorating and moving into a new home as smooth and uncomplicated as possible. We focus on continuously improving the quality of our build, finish and customer communication. Employee training and accurate performance measurement systems are a vital part of our approach.

George Wimpey UK and Morrison Homes work together closely on improving customer care throughout the Group.

GEORGE WIMPEY UK

Customer care is a key area of focus for George Wimpey UK.The bases of our customer care programme are as follows:
  • The George Wimpey UK Customer Care Policy and new Customer Charter define all aspects of our approach to customer care. Our Code of Business Conduct also sets out our approach to the fair treatment of customers.
  • Respond, our customer care management system, provides accurate performance measurement of our companies. We measure and seek to reduce the number of escalated customer complaints each year.
  • Comprehensive training is provided for employees and contractors, while our annual awards encourage and reward performance.
  • Our Options Centres offer customers a wide range of choices for home decoration and furnishing. We also provide mortgage and insurance services through independent third parties.
  • As well as regular visits and inspections to check on the quality of our build and finish, we provide a 24 hour customer care line service and have detailed procedures in place to deal with complaints promptly.
  • Customers receive a two year blanket warranty as well as a 10 year structural warranty.
  • Websites and magazines keep our customers informed and provide advice on looking after our homes.
  • Industry and our own customer care surveys help us to benchmark performance.
CSR HIGHLIGHT
61

NHBC QUALITY AWARDS WON BY GEORGE WIMPEY UK IN 2004

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

In 2004, every UK employee - from accountants to site managers - took part in a new training initiative called Growing Wiser. As part of the Growing Wiser initiative, we have done a lot of work with our regional businesses on defining what is important to customers. We started to work on our own customer charter in 2004 but, as the UK housebuilding industry is now exploring these issues, we will await the outcome of this process before completing our charter.

We also enhanced our customer care monitoring system, to provide more effective internal customer satisfaction measurements.

In 2004, we won 61 Quality Awards (more than any other house builder); 17 Top 100 Seal of Excellence Awards and one Regional Award in the National House Building Council's Pride in the Job Awards. Our regional winner, Tommy Flynn, represented Scotland at the Supreme finals for the second time in three years.

MORRISON HOMES

We have a comprehensive and detailed approach to customer care in the US.
  • Our Signature Pledge sets out our consistent approach to homebuilding. This is reinforced with a range of detailed policies and procedures. Our Morrison Homes Company Policy manual sets out our approach to customers in terms of ethics.
  • A new web-based Customer Communication Management System provides enhanced customer care capabilities as well as comprehensive tracking and reporting.
  • We train all customer contact people to ensure high standards of customer care. All Sales Associates attend a one week Foundations of Sales Excellence training course to learn about the Morrison Homes approach to customer care and management.
  • An annual award scheme encourages and rewards best practices and results.
  • Our Signature Selection Centers allow customers to personalise their homes with the help of a professional designer.
  • Morrison Financial Services, the lending arm of Morrison Homes, offers buyers competitive rates, outstanding service and ensures all financing commitments are met prior to closing.
  • Our 7 Points of Contact programme sets customer expectations for the building process and defines a series of milestone meetings.
  • Customers receive a two year blanket warranty as well as a 10 year structural warranty.
  • Our Little Purple Book guides customers through the process of housebuilding and moving in.
  • A regular customer newsletter provides ongoing communication and useful suggestions for home owners.
  • The Morrison Homes website has been redesigned with customer needs in mind.
  • Within seven days of completed warranty work,we follow up with a telephone call to the homeowner to determine their satisfaction.
  • A new Centralised Lead Management programme ensures quick, personalised and accurate responses to customers for internet leads.
  • We benchmark our performance with internal and external customer care surveys.

NEW DEVELOPMENTS

Our main area of focus in 2004 have been on developing a series of new sales tools and improving customer communications with the help of extensive market and consumer research.

A new and extensive web-based Customer Communication Management System has had a positive impact on customer care and satisfaction levels.

We also relaunched the Morrison Homes website with increased functionality to make more information accessible for customers, such as enhanced floor plans and mortgage tools. We are in the process of redesigning our sales offices to facilitate the sales process and highlight those things customers value in the home buying process.

In addition to our longstanding Foundation of Sales Excellence course,we introduced a new training programme in 2005 for every employee who has contact with customers. This training, entitled Keeping the Value, is based on research into what customers value throughout the house buying and construction process.

We also updated our customer satisfaction survey measurements to highlight the key issues that are vital to customer satisfaction. The information has been integrated into our web-based system so that updated statistics are immediately available to each of our Divisions.

FUTURE TARGETS

In 2005, George Wimpey UK will take our Growing Wiser roadshow to our sub-contractors and suppliers, to encourage them to work with us to improve customer care. We will also turn our attention to escalated customer complaints, to understand and tackle the root causes of these problems.

Morrison Homes will continue to enhance our Customer Communication Management System to cover all aspects of customer contact. Also, in the light of a growing Hispanic market in the US, we are looking at how to best serve and understand the requirements of customers from different ethnic backgrounds.


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