Customer care manager is a smiling face and a listening ear for Stonewood’s new homeowners
Martin Rushforth is our first ever Customer Care Manager, a role we created to ensure all new homeowners get the best service possible when they move in and for the 12 months afterwards.
He is responsible for all customers moving into our current sites, Somerbrook, the 38-home development near Great Somerford in north Wiltshire, and the 44-home neighbourhood at The Tannery in Holt, west Wiltshire.
“I am the face of Stonewood beyond the sales team, who are fully involved in the first part of the sale and then hand the baton to me,” he says. “My involvement really begins when I meet the customers at the home demonstration once the plot has been completed.”
By then he will have walked around the house, casting a seasoned expert’s eye over every nook and cranny to spot any tiny imperfections so they can be rectified before the new owner crosses the threshold.
He says: “I’ll be there with the customer at the home demonstration when they look around their new home for the first time about two weeks before completion of the contract.
“I will walk them through it and point out all the benefits and features, show them how the heating and the appliances work, that kind of thing. It’s an exciting time for them but I’m there to answer questions and take note of any issues.”
The next contact is on that momentous of days, moving in day. “We want to make it a really great experience on handover day because it’s a milestone in your life,” says Martin.
“When we hand over the keys we also like to give them a little moving in gift because we want it to be special. Obviously moving in can be quite a stressful time for the family when their life is in boxes everywhere so I am mindful of keeping it brief and just letting them know I’m there if they need me. I get to see the really nice bit with the smiling faces, it’s a perk of the job I suppose.”
Martin is in touch with the customer again within 48 hours of them moving in and then again after two weeks, although they can get in touch with him at any time before or after that by phone, email or by raising an electronic ticket.
“Any issue with the house is recorded so we can track that it has been resolved by our construction team,” says Martin. “A lot is also fed back to our design team so all of our learning goes into the next generation of homes.”
He meets with the construction teams at both sites every week to check on the progress of any customer issues and can be seen almost every day at either site. “I like dealing with people face to face so that the customer can show me what they are concerned about and I can understand it and reassure them that I will resolve it. There’s a lot of satisfaction for me in doing that.
“I can walk through the development and stop to chat with the families who have moved in, which is great because it shows we are building a relationship with them.”
Martin previously led a team responsible for customer care for a large manufacturer in Wiltshire but leapt at the chance to join Stonewood.
“What sold Stonewood to me is that it wants to deliver a premium product and give its customers a slightly different experience to the norm,” he says. “We have very high standards for rectifying any issues with the houses but our aim is to exceed them and really make the customer feel they have been treated well.”
After three decades of working in customer care Martin is well versed in what it takes to provide a high level of service. “The secret is listening and then engaging with the right people to get the issue resolved quickly,” he says.
“You have to be a people person and even on a bad day have your game face on and be able to deal with anything with a smile on your face. I’ve spent 32 years dealing with people now so I must love it.”
There are still some homes available at Somerbrook and The Tannery. For more details follow the link below;