A chat with Customer Care
We sit down with Natalie Mills, Group Customer Care Director at Charles Church, to discuss all things new homes – and why buying a new home with Persimmon also buys you peace of mind for a decade.
Hi Natalie! Can you tell us a bit about your role as Group Customer Care Director – what does your typical day looks like?
I joined the business in March this year, so I’ve spent a lot of time in these first few months visiting our Regional offices, getting to know our colleagues and understanding more about how we operate as a business. I’ve been focusing on our people, supporting with recruitment and launching new initiatives like the Customer Portal.
There is no typical day, which is why the role is so exciting, but as an example this week I’m off to Newcastle to meet our Customer Care colleagues in the North East and on to Telford after that to support some of our colleagues with interviews.
Could you talk us through the 10-year insurance-backed warranty and how it works?
Every new home benefits from a 10-year warranty from an industry-leading warranty provider, such as NHBC, Premier Guarantee or LABC. Our robust quality control process ensures most issues are picked up through the build process, but we build homes outdoors subject to the elements and inevitably there are things that do come to light once the homes are occupied and in use.
The first 2 years of that warranty are managed by the homebuilder (that’s us!), and we address issues that generally arise from product failure or poor workmanship. Whilst the warranty provider isn’t the main point of contact during those 2 years, they will step in and support the customer at any time on the very rare occasions that we can’t agree on a route to resolution.
By this point, most issues will have been identified and we transfer into the final 8 years of the warranty period, where new issues are generally directed to the warranty provider by our customers who are the policyholders. This warranty gives customers the comfort that should a structural or construction-related defect become apparent whilst it is in place, the related costs would not be the responsibility of the homeowner.
We're committed to upholding the Charles Church Commitment in every home sale. Could you explain what the Commitment is, and why it is such a great benefit for our customers?
The Charles Church Commitment is a commitment that we are making to our customers, to ensure they have a fair and informative buying experience. It helps customers to understand what to expect when buying a new home, and is a clear benchmark for how we look after our customers. The great benefit of the Pledge is that it guides all parties through the process and ensures everyone is on the same page.
In your opinion, what’s the biggest reason to buy a new home over a traditional home?
It would be hard to pick just one so I’ll go for my top four. Firstly, the fact everything is new is such a luxury. New homes feel fresh, clean and easy to maintain. Secondly, the opportunity to select your own finishing touches, like floor coverings or feature fireplaces, making your home bespoke to your preferences, and having this all done for you before you move in! Thirdly, new homes are more cost-effective – they are built to the newest regulations and are better insulated than older homes. And finally, it’s the communities that you find on new developments. There’s always such excitement when residents start to move in and that shared experience creates instant connections amongst the neighbours. In my short time here, I’ve already heard about babysitting networks, regular coffee mornings, and, coming up soon, celebratory street parties.
What’s your favourite thing about working in Customer Care?
It has to be the people. In my role I have the opportunity to improve the experience of customers and develop colleagues in their careers, which gives me a huge amount of joy and pride.
Finally, is there any advice you’d give to those thinking of buying a Charles Church Home?
Go and visit your local developments, chat to our lovely sales teams and if you need inspiration about how to make the blank canvas of a new home your own, head to our Instagram page to see some amazing home transformations by our creative customers.
Want to know more about our warranty or the Charles Church Commitment? Find your nearest development and get in touch with our friendly sales teams who will be happy to help.
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