When developing the staffing budget…for multi-unit, production tract housing and condominiums…the builder should allow for a minimum of at least two people per project for customer service work.
This estimate is based on the recognition that customer service work can be difficult, frustrating, and demoralizing. Solving customer service complaints is always working from the negative toward the positive…trying to get unhappy and sometimes angry customers back to the marginal position of being placated and satisfied.
On a large multi-unit project that has a backlog of customer service complaint letters, the constant barrage of incoming negativity can overwhelm one person working alone.
When two people work together prepping the units for upcoming homebuyer walkthroughs and responding to customer service complaints promptly…not only is the burden divided in half…but the work itself seems to go three times faster. If one of the workers gets bogged-down on a time-consuming repair, the other can be breezing through several easy repairs…maintaining a sense of forward momentum…which improve morale.
I have seen…and experienced first-hand…good customer service representatives who were an asset to the homebuilder…burn-out and quit after a short time because they were placed in a no-win situation…without enough help and support to do their jobs at a level of hopeful success that was mentally sustainable.
A revolving cycle of new customer service people then comes in every three to six months, along with the upheaval and disruption of transition that always accompanies a personal changeover.