Case Study

Linden Homes

Brendan Blythe | Formerly Production Director, Linden Homes Midlands

I thought that our demonstration walkthrough was perfectly adequate and that we had nothing more to learn…

…It seems strange to admit this, as a home-builder, but I didn’t appreciate there were so many components that required further explanation or an overview for our customers.

“Cary knows exactly what customers want to know.”Brendan Blythe

Our trainer, Cary, knows each component part of a home in detail and exactly what customers need to be informed about. I have to admit that she knew more about our homes than I did!

You suddenly realise what you haven’t been doing. For example I’ve never explained to anyone the wall construction of their home or the benefits of it, and now I realise that it takes 30 seconds to do it.

It’s had a very positive effect, it’s like we’re working in another decade
We’ve started to give much more positive and confident demonstrations and we look much more professional when we’re doing it.

If I compare what we were doing previously to what we are doing now it’s like we’re working in another decade, the old and new ways just don’t compare. It’s had a very positive effect on the business.

No-one can fail to be impressed when buying a home from us
As a result of the demonstration training, customers are left with a feeling that they have purchased from a professional company – no one can fail to be impressed when buying a home from us.

You can’t just give customers the keys anymore and tell them to get on with it
Customers expect a high level of treatment these days. We can’t just give them a set of keys and tell them to get on with it.

Emma Warden-Nevins | Formerly Customer Service Supervisor, Linden Homes Western

Some of our sales team didn’t know the basics about our products, such as how to use the heating…

…and we wanted to change that, which is why I suggested the sales staff do the New Home Demonstration course.

“The training was invaluable, it really empowered the team!”Emma Warden-Nevins

I thought the course was excellent
The training was invaluable. It’s provided our sales team with so much extra knowledge! It’s really empowered them and has enabled us to deliver a quicker turn-around time when dealing with minor queries from customers and it offers the flexibility for them to give a demonstration when the site team are not available.

Bringing the site and sales team together was an added bonus
Pairing up the sales and site staff allowed them to work together as a wider team. It’s opened up better dialogue between them, especially when it comes to increasing product knowledge. Not only that, it’s made the sales and site teams more enthusiastic about what they do, which can only be a good thing.

I would absolutely recommend this course
As well as raising product awareness, personally it really helped the region to bring some focus back on to the customer. Due to the nature of their jobs, our sales executives can find some queries about homes difficult to answer because they don’t necessarily have product awareness. Attending this course creates a closer relationship with our customers as our staff are better able to answer questions relating to the home.

James Hagerup | Head Of Customer Services & Quality Assurance, Linden Homes North

I was aware that some people attended the course thinking they wouldn’t learn anything new because they’d been doing the job for years. How hard is it to give somebody a set of keys?

…so In-house’s demonstration and handover training proved to be an eye-opener for them and I think they were surprised at what they did learn. I have attended this training many times and remain absolutely convinced it’s the right course to send people on to give them a full understanding of how the properties work and how to pass this information onto the customer confidently and professionally.

“The demo training showed us how to save time and expense.”James Hagerup

Professional demonstrations can save time and expense later
This time around we arranged for some of our social housing partners to attend the course. They had previously handed houses over within ten minutes and subsequently found they were experiencing a lot of problems, such as customers not knowing how to minimise drying out cracks or operate the heating systems, etc. So the training opened their eyes in terms of how to carry out a full, professional demonstration and how this can minimise future problems and save a lot of time and expense in the process.

Training provides the confidence and knowledge to perform a great demonstration
Consistency in the demonstrations we carry out is very important to Linden Homes North and we have some very set procedures that we insist are followed carefully. In-house’s training gives our staff the knowledge and confidence to perform a great demonstration by using a good mix of theory and practical hands-on role play. Cary provides some really good practical tips to explain how the house works and what you should explain to the customer. Customers are filled with a sense of confidence and satisfaction when shown their new home by professional and knowledgeable staff, who know all about the house, including the more intricate workings such as the heating controllers. Often our staff can anticipate what the home owner’s questions are going to be, so our customers feel that they are in a safe pair of hands.

Good value investment in customer service
I would recommend In-house Research and Training because the demonstration and handover training is a good value investment in customer service that works well as a bolt-on to our own internal training.

Zoe Dobbs | Formerly Sales Manager, Linden Homes Chiltern

We were concerned to see from In-house’s Customer Satisfaction Measurement that we were starting to lose marks on home demonstrations and we wanted to make sure that everyone was fully conversant again with how to do the demonstrations so we could improve on these scores…

…the sales advisers are now much more confident when doing the demonstrations because the training that Cary provides is very thorough.

“We’re much more confident doing demos.”Zoe Dobbs

Feedback was positive
Feedback from those who took part in the course was very positive; it helped refresh their product knowledge whilst at the same time highlighting on the key features and benefits which they can then use when selling.

The course highlighted some technical issues which need improvement
We are also introducing some new products at some of our sites, such as the solar panels and mechanical ventilation systems, so it was good for staff to receive some training on how it all works. We used this training opportunity to bring in people from these manufacturers to demonstrate their systems in more technical detail. In the case of the mechanical ventilation system it highlighted an issue which has resulted in us going back to our technical people to make improvements in the way it is installed so this is one of the best things to come out of the training.

In-house are always very thorough
I would recommend In-house. They’re always very thorough and they give good presentations. We’ve always had positive feedback from anyone who’s attended one of their courses.