Most of us have been taught treat others like we would like to be treated. So, it goes without saying that when we encounter others, we need to respond in the same way we want to be treated if the experience was reversed, because we just never know who that person just might be. As a builder, how important is customer service? Are we running so fast and furious with limited staff that we are forgetting that very point and good customer service, people skills, and maybe just genuine southern hospitality will lead to more referrals, recommendations, and repeat business? I am curious how builders are going to market today.
Let me share my experience. A builder has been filing up my Big Red Box with his garbage, putting his trusses on my driveway to block it for three days and his contractors are parking in front of our house and on the lawn without regard that it’s our property.
We have kindly asked them to stop, but it keeps happening. Simply, we can complain, take pictures and videos, and nothing happens (see yesterday’s post about how homeowners have little recourse with an HOA).
I debated sharing this builder’s name, but I think it is important to hold organizations accountable, so other consumers know companies that provide good or bad behavior and perhaps even your customer service. Haven Homes here in South Carolina, which is not our builder, is taking advantage of us by putting overflowing garbage in my dumpster, which is ultimately costing me money to dump it.
The trusses in the driveway caused the plumber to say they weren’t coming back for two weeks since they had another project and couldn’t run the trenches and delayed our house construction for two weeks, leaving us in a rental longer. Costing us more money.
Under the law, it is trespassing, yet they don’t care. I think it’s wrong when they started clearing the lot. They didn’t care about the trees they destroyed. We had to be careful, according to the HOA. They didn’t. They just steamrolled trees for no reason as I videoed that too.
I am angry about Haven Homes, and they are ignoring me and getting away with whatever they want. They certainly aren’t caring about us, so it makes me wonder how they treat others. In fact, I would go as far as to say they are being a bully.
So that led me to my question today. As builders you aware of what is happening on your jobsite? Do you know what the neighbors are saying in the community you are building? How important is customer service you are providing? Is it a top priority? Do you manage trades in a way that is beneficial to the everyone? Do you leverage technology to make the process more seamless for the customer and community? After I reached out to Haven, a Haven representative called me back a day later. He was generally rude, declaring his resolution was to fine the trades and if they were parking on my lawn, I should call the police.
Why should I have to call the police every day? Seriously. The right approach should have been for Haven Homes to handle this. So needless to say, you can imagine what my impression of Haven Homes after this call. In fact, this phone call led me to write this blog. He was dismissive and simply didn’t care about our financial losses only that he was going to fine the trades and gain money by fining the trades. Gotta love that!
To be clear, I am not the only neighbor that has struggled with this builder. In fact, this builder has boldly put the saw pole on the other neighbor’s lot without asking. And in fact, promised the neighbor that a street cleaner would come and clean up the dirt in the street every two weeks. But guess what? That has yet to happen. Coincidentally, the other neighbor had their cable wire cut when the trades were digging, and the superintendent was once again indifferent. Rather than be helpful he denied any possibility or responsibility for cutting the cable.
I think perhaps the biggest question is are we using supply-chain crises, worker shortages, and other business challenges as an excuse to not provide quality customer service today. And as customers are we just going to stand by and take this treatment? I am not sure the way forward, except that we need change on the horizon. After my rude phone encounter and asking if I needed to get a lawyer to address these issues, Haven’s representative reminded me the laws in South Carolina are different and I might want to understand them first.
So, with that in mind, perhaps the best thing to do is do what I do best and to talk about my personal experiences with my readers. The buck always stops at the top with any homebuilder or executive. And to ask the question, how has at least one homebuilder in South Carolina lost sight that the buck stops that the top? Makes me wonder how Haven Homes treats their partners, buyers, suppliers, and homebuyers when there is an issue if this experience is any indication?
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