Sustainable homes and places

Customer service

We want customers to receive a great service, clear information about their new home and the build process and a prompt response to any issues that arise.

Customer service

Customer satisfaction – how are we rated?

We track customer satisfaction using the Home Builders Federation (HBF) 8-week and 9-month independent survey results. In 2023, 92% of customers in the 8-week survey would recommend us to a friend (2022: 90%). We are pleased to have increased our score and met our target to maintain a five-star rating. Our 9-month satisfaction scores give us insight into how customers feel about the homes and places we build over the longer term. Our most recent score was 77% (2022: 78%). Improving this score will be a priority in 2024.

In 2023, we piloted our InHouse customer research approach which aims to contact every customer within two weeks of moving in to find out about their experience with us and identify any concerns. Customers are asked about areas such as the performance of the sales executive, their moving day experience, and the condition, design and features of their new home. We piloted it in six regional businesses and then rolled it out across the Group. One of the findings so far is that customers would like more information between registration and moving in, particularly if there are delays to the build process. We are developing our customer journey process to address this finding.

We encourage customers to leave reviews on Trustpilot. At the end of 2023, with 8,950 reviews, we had a 4 out of 5 star rating (end of 2022: 4 out of 5) with a trust score of 3.9 out of 5 (2022: 3.9 out of 5).

Roles and responsibilities

Each of our regional businesses has a Customer Director who sits on the management team to elevate the voice of the customer in our regions. They review data on customer issues, complaints and defects to identify any trends or recurring issues and put measures in place to address them and improve service.

Incentivising strong performance

Customer service and quality are incentivised from the top of the organisation, linked to a significant portion of our Executive Incentive Scheme. We track progress and calculate bonus payouts using a combination of internal and independent external measures which include: HBF 8-week customer survey results; the number of NHBC claims; CQR scores conducted independently by the NHBC, and the average reportable items per inspection found during NHBC inspections at key stages of the build. In addition, 20% of our senior leadership’s performance-related bonus was dependent on achieving customer satisfaction targets in 2022. We also integrate customer service and quality into the corporate bonus scheme for all employees.


Employee training

Our training academies help us build the functional skills we need to deliver great customer service. It includes:

• Our Academy of Customer Excellence for customer service teams covers our product range, Customer Journey, consumer protection legislation, technical standards, and health, safety and the environment.

• Our Academy of Sales Excellence builds the skills, knowledge and expertise of our sales teams to deliver excellent customer service and consistent sales in all market conditions.

• A comprehensive induction training for all new joiners in our customer service teams as well as training to enable customer service managers to develop the skills needed to transition to a customer director role.

We will be updating our training in 2024. 

Service improvement plans 

We track customer service scores for each regional business and if these fall below our minimum level, we put in place a customer service improvement plan to address the causes. The managing director and management team for the regional business meets monthly with our Group Customer Director to review progress against the agreed actions and our GMT receive a monthly update on progress made. This process has had a positive impact on our customer satisfaction scores. We are now introducing a similar process for underperforming sites. 


New Homes Quality Code

We have signed up to the New Homes Quality Code and aligned our processes to its requirements. Customer-facing employees are trained on the Code as well as many colleagues in our commercial and technical functions and some of our subcontractors.  

In 2023 we introduced a policy on how to support potentially vulnerable customers as part of our alignment to the Code requirements. This has been rolled out to our businesses.  


Resolving issues and complaints

When issues arise for our customers, we want to address them as quickly as possible. We have a target to resolve 70% of customer issues within 28 days. In 2023, we achieved 60% (2022: 58%). During the year, we introduced the MyTask portal to improve how we monitor our sub-contractors’ response to customer issues. We aim to follow up with a call to our customer after the sub-contractor has visited to confirm the issue has been resolved satisfactorily. 

If issues aren’t resolved to our customers’ satisfaction, they can raise a complaint with our customer service teams. We have trained our teams on handling complaints effectively and sympathetically and only trained employees are authorised to manage complaints. We aim to resolve all complaints or have an agreed action plan in place within eight weeks. We achieved this for 68% of complaints in 2023 (2022: 70%). This drop is due to a change in how we categorise complaints to improve accuracy. Previously, when complaints were escalated they were sometimes categorised as new complaints. 

Any complaints that can’t be resolved are referred to the regional Customer Director. This process is overseen by our Group Customer Director. If customers are dissatisfied with our final response, or with any delay in providing our final response, they can ask the New Homes Ombudsman Service to investigate. 

Customer Directors monitor progress against our targets in their region. To strengthen senior oversight we’ve also introduced a new performance dashboard for our Managing Directors, Divisional Chairs and other senior leaders to enable them to view customer service indicators such as complaints and time taken to resolve issues down to site level.