Warranty service falls short of expectationsHomeowner expectations of warranty service are at an all-time high, which makes it a key area of improvement for home builders.When something in their new home goes wrong, homeowners don’t want to wait. But with the time to respond to an inquiry averaging 72 hours, and time to resolve an issue sitting around 10-20 days, the current warranty process is heavily skewed to the builder’s timeline.The process is outdated and frustrating for homeowners who have just made one of the biggest purchases of their life.No, building a new home is not like buying a pair of shoes, where you can make a purchase on a whim and even wear them out of the store if you want. The process takes months to years, and there are so many big decisions to make along the way. Yet, there are still opportunities for builders to create ‘wow’ moments throughout the warranty period.In a recent survey, 45% of Millennials said technology has made them more impatient than they were five years ago. If Amazon’s popularity is any indication, the promise of avoiding a wait wins a lot of business.In today's world where online reviews are the new referrals, builders need to consider how they can create more engaged and loyal customers. The first step? Meeting homeowner expectations for ‘instant’ responses and faster resolutions.
Proactive service is less disruptiveThere are two types of warranty service – proactive and reactive. Proactive virtual service creates an experience that’s predictable and less disruptive for homeowners.
Consider these two scenarios:
- The homeowner moves into their home, and notices their heating system isn’t working. They fill out a complicated online form, wait 72 hours for a call back, and make an appointment ten days later. When the technician comes to their house to check out the issue, it turns out they just didn’t know how to work the heating system. They show them how it works, and the homeowner has heat, after waiting over two weeks.
- The builder does a virtual walkthrough of the home’s technology before the homeowner moves in, and shares the video for them to consult later. The homeowner reviews it but still can’t seem to figure out how to get the heating system up and running. They go to their builders website, book a 30 minute appointment online for the next day, connect with their service rep virtually, and they get the heating system working.
Providing the instant gratification buyers needHere are four ways that home builders are using ICwhatUC to proactively improve their homeowners’ warranty experience:
Guided homeownershipRelieve customer anxiety with scheduled maintenance reminders and check-ins. A great CX doesn’t put the onus on the homeowner to remember what services need to be done to their new home. Builders can automate these reminders to make for a better homeownership experience.
Engaged customersThe most detrimental experience for a customer is when they feel like they have to fight to get through to your team. By making service accessible through online booking, scheduling, and self-serve options, you eliminate friction for your customer, which improves their experience and increases their engagement.
Learn from trends and issuesThe first step to fixing a problem is identifying it. With a virtual CX platform, builders can track trends in their data and begin to act on them faster. Is one of your appliances malfunctioning regularly? Replace them proactively. Is one of your subcontractors making constant mistakes? Track this trend and stop working with them before too much damage is done to your reputation.
Power your training processThe data captured in a virtual CX platform can inform builders where they should make changes in their culture, their people, and their training processes. By tracking trends in customer sentiment, builders can learn and iterate on their service scripts quickly.
Creating smart homeownership experiencesHomeowners shouldn’t need to learn to hack the builders system. After investing in a new home they expect a customer experience to match, and they're often disappointed to find that the warranty service doesn’t live up to their expectations.Builders know that consumers want smart homes; they also want smart homeownership experiences. With a virtual CX platform, builders can learn from their interactions and create more engaged, loyal buyers.
Eradj Khaidarov is ICwhatUC’s Chief Technology Officer. His experience in video and web collaboration technologies spans over 19 years, the majority of which he spent building products that helped people connect and be productive.
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