The Green Company: Who’s Going Up the Ladder? 101
employees know that the customer’s perception can be far different from
the company’s, so the communication that occurs at closing is critical.
‘‘We need to know what the customer thinks,’’ David said. ‘‘As soon as
we started asking the customers to give us their perception, we found that
it was different from ours. Their perspective is all that matters in how
they talk about you to other people.’’
Home buyers typically see a warranty issue that comes up at the clos-
ing as a failure to complete the house. ‘‘You can get them to sign off on
it, but they get nervous. Instead, we do a walkthrough a few days ahead
of time. We then make sure they come back through a half-hour before
closing, so they know that we fixed all the issues. That gets them to a
psychological perception that it is complete. The next problem that
comes up is then a warranty item.’’
The Green Company supports its strong customer service effort with
mandatory meetings every Tuesday morning. Twenty employees from var-
ious departments gather together. ‘‘We mine our notes so that everyone
knows what’s going on with every customer, from the first visit through
the last,’’ Dominique shared. They may discuss what’s happening with
customers even three years after they’ve purchased a Green Company
home. Hearing about the happenings in different areas within the com-
pany helps employees develop compassion for the unique challenges
faced by other departments and reinforces teamwork.
The meetings also help employees at the lowest level in the organiza-
tion embrace the company culture. They hear how senior-level managers
handle difficult situations, so they gain the confidence to take the initia-
tive when something goes wrong. ‘‘It’s what people hear in that meet-
ing—how we deal with more delicate issues and how we react—that
helps them figure out how to deal with the smaller issues they come
across,’’ David explained. ‘‘Once you get that in place culturally, you get
everyone in the right mindset.’’
The weekly meeting is also instrumental in keeping each customer’s
needs in the forefront of everyone’s mind. The employees get to know
and like their customers. ‘‘Buyers follow us from one development to
another,’’ Rebecca said. ‘‘They hug their coordinators. It’s interesting to
see how often they develop relationships that are long-term.’’ She
pointed out that a happy customer won’t necessarily stay satisfied without

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