Surge in builders listening to homeowners’ feedback

Over a quarter of homes completed by British housebuilders now have homeowner’s feedback reviewed by the builder via valuable online reports on customer satisfaction levels, according to new figures released by NHBC.

The figures show a surge in builders taking note of the views of their customers with the number using NHBC’s unrivalled customer satisfaction reports doubling in the space of just one year.

Major companies including the likes of Barratt, Taylor Wimpey and Persimmon are among the 21 firms now taking advantage of the system. Between October 2012 and September 2013, these builders reviewed over 28,000 pieces of homeowner feedback – an increase of more than 17,000 from the previous year.

Introduced in 2004, NHBC has been carrying out homeowner surveys and analysing the data for over nine years, sending out over 100,000 satisfaction surveys a year at eight weeks and nine months after legal completion.

The eight-week survey results are used to power the annual HBF five-star rating scheme, which have resulted in huge improvements in customer satisfaction, with the number of housebuilders scoring over 90% – and therefore achieving a 5 star rating – on the question “Would you recommend your builder to a friend?” rising from one in the first year of the survey to 22 builders last year.

The questionnaires allow owners to rate issues such as the standard of finish in their new home, how many defects they reported, and how satisfied they are with the overall quality.

For builders, there is also the opportunity to add a number of bespoke questions to the surveys, allowing them to tailor the questionnaire to meet their specific requirements, be it to find out more about the sales team on site, customer services at head office or running in issues following completion.

Mike Quinton, Chief Executive of NHBC, said:

“The big increase in builders using our customer satisfaction surveys is a clear sign of how seriously the industry takes the views of new homeowners.

“The reports have helped to lead major improvements in customer satisfaction in new homes. This increase in standards benefits homeowners themselves as well as the industry as a whole.”