Five star status in the UK house building sector: a realistic indication of customer satisfaction or pure fantasy?

Christopher Boothman, Nigel Craig

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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The Barker Review of Housing published in March 2004 commanded that “the housebuilding industry must demonstrate increased levels of customer satisfaction” andcalled for the Home Builders Federation (HBF) to develop a strategy to improve thelevel of customer satisfaction. In partnership with the National House BuildingCouncil (NHBC) the HBF introduced a national survey of house builders, whichlaunched in 2005 as a self-completion survey to the purchasers of new build homes atboth eight weeks and nine months after legal completion. The results for twoquestions “quality of the home” and “recommendation to a friend” culminate in theaward of a star rating between one and five and the surveys completed over the pastdecade show steady improvement in relation to customer satisfaction. Furtherresearch was conducted to examine how the data collected by the NHBC is used inpractice to improve the service provided to the customers, the transition of anychanges into practice and the overall management of the customer satisfaction processby the builder. In order to explore how this data is utilised in practice, eight semistructured in depth interviews have been carried out with three developers andanalysis of the exploratory data revealed a gap between the published statistics andcurrent practice and further suggests the HBF surveys were unlikely to reflect the trueexperiences and opinions of the customer. The research concluded that the customercan be manipulated by the builders in some cases causing a bias in the market; on thewhole the customer satisfaction surveys and star rating are simply seen as a marketingtool, used by the builders marketing department as a sign of quality and a way topromote the company
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 32nd Annual ARCOM Conference
EditorsP.W. Chan, C.J. Neilson
Number of pages10
ISBN (Print)9780995546301
Publication statusPublished - 7 Sep 2016

Publication series

ISSN (Print)0000-2016


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