McCarthy & Stone becomes the only housebuilder to achieve five star status, thirteen years in a row

22 March 2018

When buying a new home, you want to be sure that you can trust your housebuilder, particularly if like for many retirees choosing to downsize, this represents a new chapter in your life and which could involve selling your family home.

Choosing McCarthy & Stone gives you the peace of mind that comes from a company that has been building specialist retirement properties for over 40 years, and which this week has seen us become the only major housebuilder to achieve five star status, thirteen years in a row, in an independent survey by the Home Builders Federation (HBF).

The Five Star status only goes to a select number of housebuilders, and is awarded when more than nine out of ten customers say they would recommend a company to a friend.

At McCarthy & Stone we pride ourselves on our long established and enviable reputation of being the only housebuilder of any size or type, to achieve the Five Star customer satisfaction rating for a record thirteen consecutive years, which is every year since the awards began.

We are also pleased to announce that not only did we achieve a combined customer satisfaction score of 93.5%, but over 90 individual McCarthy & Stone developments were given a 100% rating by our homeowners, which is testament to the importance the company attaches to quality and customer service.

In a Q&A with National Construction Director for McCarthy & Stone, Tim Lightfoot, he discusses why he thinks McCarthy & Stone has been able to maintain such consistently high standards over the thirteen years, and how as a company, we work to ensure a seamless customer experience.

Tim says:-

“Our success is really down to our culture of customer care.

We have incredibly robust procedures in place before our apartments are released to homeowners, and we have engaged, retained teams that really believe in what they’re doing and want to achieve the best end product for our customers.

We understand that for many of our customers the thought of downsizing can be an overwhelming one, and it brings with it lots of emotions. We handle each individual situation delicately as we know that for some it can mean coming to terms with selling their family home, so there’s even more riding on it to get it right, and to get it right first time!

We acknowledge that sometimes there can be issues, but we do everything we can to fix this and to fix it as quickly as possible.”

Q: How do you work with other areas of the business to ensure customers are given the right information during each stage of the process, and are kept informed throughout?

“The construction team works closely with both sales and customer care to find out what the customer’s wants and needs are, and to make sure we deliver this. Communication is key.

We have done a lot of work in the last year to improve our quality assurance processes and our support for purchasers moving in to new developments. We have a special Customer Service Charter in place which details the processes, roles and responsibilities as each development reaches completion. We really credit this with helping us push towards our internal targets of all of our customers saying they would recommend McCarthy & Stone to a friend.

We were incredibly pleased to hear that for over 90 of our developments, not only had we achieved this target, but we’d been given the highest marks available, achieving a 100% customer satisfaction score. This is testament to the tremendous efforts of those teams, at all levels, that work exceedingly hard all year to make this happen.”

Q: What are the challenges? How has this changed?

“One of the main challenges is that we’re now building faster, and building more retirement apartments than ever before, so as a business we’re acutely aware that this shouldn’t detract from the end product.

We’re extremely proud that, while our business has grown, our company ethos has remained the same; which is a shared passion to deliver the best quality of life for our customers, which puts their wants and needs at the heart of everything we do.

Our product is constantly evolving and customer feedback is really important to us. Feeding this back into the process allows us to refine the way we do things to a fine art, and change anything that needs changing more or less straight away. We are really proud of our product and we’re even more proud that our customers believe in us.”

Q: What sets McCarthy & Stone apart from other housebuilders?

“You can have a solid process, culture and values but without dedicated, passionate people, no matter the vision you will fail; and McCarthy & Stone’s success is really testament to its people. At all levels, from the bricklayers on site, to the hardworking teams on the ground such as the House Managers and Customer Support Executives, there is a shared passion and drive to deliver quality for our customers. It starts with bricks and mortar and is embedded in our company culture. We don’t believe in letting our customers down and we strive to make sure we deliver the best possible experience for them.

“Looking to the future it’s about maintaining this and attracting the right talent to the business. This is something McCarthy & Stone does really well; growing organically and promoting people from within. That’s what makes for such a strong company culture.

“Stakeholder engagement is also key. Working alongside the Product Improvement Board means we continually look for new and better ways to do things, improving services and ensuring our customer needs remain our upmost priority, across all areas of the business.”