The UK housing developers’ five star rating: fact or fiction

Christopher Boothman, Nigel Craig, James Sommerville

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Purpose
The purpose of this paper is to explore how the data collected by the House Builders Federation (HBF)/National House Building Council (NHBC) surveys are used in practice to improve the service provided to the customers, the transition of any changes into practice and the overall management of the customer satisfaction process by the builder.

Design/methodology/approach
A qualitative approach to the research was adopted, and the findings from the interviews provide an indication of the views from a range of private/speculative house builders relating to the areas of customer satisfaction and the ratings provided through industry-based surveys.

Findings
This paper has uncovered the views and opinions of private house builders relating to customer satisfaction and five-star ratings. The findings provide evidence that the house building industry is not fully engaged with the HBF five-star-related concept and that they provide a differing level of service in relation to customer satisfaction.

Research limitations/implications
The research concluded that the customer can be manipulated by the builders in some cases causing a bias in the market; on the whole, the customer satisfaction surveys and star rating are simply seen as a marketing tool, used by the builders marketing department as a sign of quality and a way to promote the company.

Practical implications
This paper is of interest to private house builders and the wider construction industry and will aid their understanding of not only generic customer satisfaction but also in particular customer satisfaction in new build housing and quality-related ratings/targets applied by industry bodies.

Originality/value
The paper provides an insight to house builders practices by examining the use of the HBF/NHBC survey results and how they are used to manage and improve the service provided to the customer, and the results therefore are of value to the end home buyer and the wider house building industry.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)269-283
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Facilities Management
Volume16
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2 Jul 2018

Keywords

  • Customer
  • Defects
  • Housing
  • Quality
  • Satisfaction
  • Snagging

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