During a question and answer session at a recent industry conference, a home builder asked Moody’s Analytics chief economist Mark Zandi for his thoughts about the labor
Personal Attention via the Internet
Kristin Bergeron’s foremost responsibility is to reply to all requests for information sent via the contact form on cambridgehomesusa.com.
|Kristin Bergeron, personal online consultant for Cambridge Homes|
WHO: Kristin Bergeron, personal online consultant for Cambridge Homes in Altamonte Springs, Fla.
WHAT: Bergeron’s foremost responsibility is to reply to all requests for information sent via the contact form on Cambridge Homes Web site. She deals with 10-15 leads a week, and with Cambridge’s future plans to work with builder referral services, she expects that number to increase. In addition, Bergeron checks the site to ensure that information is accurate and up-to-date.
HOW: When any request is submitted through the Web site, an auto-response immediately is dispatched. Bergeron re-sponds to requests within one business day.
WHY: Tim Costello, chairman and CEO of Builder Homesite, says responding to requests initiated through a builder’s Web site is a “monumental” problem in the industry. “We know for a fact that 50-70% of requests customers make are never responded to by builders,” he says. “The customers contact us, and we’ve had to literally call builders and say, ‘This person has asked for this information three times. Can you please send them something?’”
Bergeron has been on the job only since the first of the year, so Cambridge’s program is too new for measured conversion rates, and many requests have come from people interested in buying six to eight months out. But she has received encouraging feedback.
“It gives the customers personalized attention, and it saves time for the salespeople,” Bergeron says. “I think the customers like the speed and the ability to get whatever information they need.”