In the final article of our customer journey map series, we’re diving deeper into the warranty and relationship phase.
You can find our other homebuyer journey phase deep dives and a full guide to customer journey mapping here.
The warranty and relationship phase of the homebuyer journey consists of post-occupancy appointments for warranty services and follow-up communications normally including:
- 30-day communication and scheduling
- 30-day service meeting
- Follow-up service by trade(s)
- Follow-up service communications
- 12-month communication scheduling
- 12-month service meeting
- Follow-up service by trade(s)
- Follow-up service communication
- Maintenance tips and communication
- Referral awareness meeting
This stage of the homebuyer journey is where homebuilders statistically fall short in customer satisfaction. Learn why this phase sees such a dramatic drop in customer satisfaction scores and how to ensure your business provides a better experience for homebuyers post-occupancy.
Why homebuyer satisfaction scores drop after move-in
Based on AvidCX data, our customer experience and survey platform, the average homebuyer satisfaction score drops roughly 10 percentage points after move-in. You can see this dramatic drop from a snippet of our customer journey map below, based on our homebuilder data.
Homebuyer satisfaction is peak at move-in, but suddenly at the first 30-day mark, their satisfaction is significantly lower. Even more interesting is that satisfaction stays low for the rest of the builder warranty period.
This is due to a number of factors such as the new home excitement fading, but largely in part to a lack of builder communication about the warranty process and unclear expectations of how involved the builder will be post-occupancy.
Understandably, post-occupancy homebuilders are moving on to their next build, which can make it more difficult to maintain customer relationships. However, homebuyer surveys are usually deployed at and after move-in, which can drastically affect homebuilder scores. Additionally, the last touchpoint of the homebuyer journey is generally notification of a referral program. If homebuyers feel abandoned after move-in there’s a lower chance they’ll want to refer their friends and family to your company.
Poor customer experience and lack of referrals actually cost homebuilders thousands to millions of dollars in revenue every year. In fact, you can calculate how much poor customer experience is costing your company right now with our ROI of CX Calculator.
Tips for nailing the warranty and relationship phase of homebuying
It’s necessary to ensure homebuyers feel taken care of after move-in and understand the warranty process. Here are some tips to provide a great post-occupancy experience:
- Find a builder who is not in your target market and interview them on their warranty and post-move-in process. How do they communicate with their homebuyers and how often? Do they have a systematic approach? Do they provide more materials than you? Are they explaining the warranty process sooner, and bringing it up more often to remind homeowners of what to expect?
- Join a group on LinkedIn, Facebook, or other social media platform where homebuilders interact. Poll them on how they approach their warranty communications and pull ideas that could work well for your company.
- Survey your customers to get their perception of your warranty and post-occupancy customer service. This is by far the most beneficial and easiest way to improve your customer satisfaction rates. With a tool like AvidCX, you can survey homebuyers at multiple stages post-move-in and benchmark your business against competitors inside and outside of your area. With data on how you stack up against the competition throughout your customer journey, you can pinpoint the specific areas you need to make improvements and use resources wisely.