From nursing to construction: Sinead, Head of Customer Care, shares her journey

A journey of transformation: Sinead’s transition from nursing to leading Customer Care in Construction

Hi Sinead,  thanks for speaking to us. Let’s start with what led you to customer care.

Honestly, I never thought I would fall into construction. I went to university to study nursing! It sounds like a completely crazy career move but in some ways, it isn’t so different! The element of care has remained, and the reasons I went into nursing, like helping people and making a positive impact on their lives, still resonate with me in my role as Head of Customer Care.

After travelling and seeing some incredible places, I landed my first job in customer care at Taylor Wimpey. I loved seeing a house being built and turning into someone’s cherished home. From there, I worked my way up. A new and exciting chapter opened for me in February 2022, when I joined a very new, fresh-faced team…

The start of the Denbury chapter! What was it like joining the team when Denbury Homes had just rebranded?

As Denbury was in its early days, we didn’t have a dedicated care team. It’s been my role to establish it. It’s been a milestone career moment for me, how often do you get to start something from scratch?

That sounds like a challenging task…

It was both a challenge and a massive opportunity.

Assembling the customer care team meant finding people who suited Denbury and its commitment to excellence. The team is a group of individuals who share the same vision and I am extremely proud of what we have created.

Each team member treats our customers’ homes as if they were their own, and I think this level of care and dedication has become a hallmark of what we know as the Denbury Difference.

The Denbury Difference, what does that mean to you?

For me, it is about build quality and the team. I don’t think I’ve ever worked in a company where everyone is so supportive of one another. I know that I can go to anyone with an idea, and it will be welcomed. Nobody would dismiss any concept; instead, we ensure that every idea is explored and considered. I think that plays a huge part in delivering superior homes.

We’ve initiated a fabulous tradition of hosting monthly BBQs during the summer. They really help with team building and give everyone the chance to mix on a more social basis and share ideas in a relaxed atmosphere.

These BBQs sound delightful! On the topic of ideas and innovating, are there any new technologies that you’ve implemented to support customers?

Part of our reputation for delivering exceptional homes is how we look after customers once they move in. We pride ourselves on working quickly to solve issues that they may have.

Recently, we invested in Clixifix, an online portal that allows customers to communicate with us. It’s very customer-friendly to use and allows us to provide a highly responsive service.

Customers register any queries or concerns and receive real-time updates on their status. The investment in the system is a testament to our commitment to being there for our customers at every step of their journey. There’s a lot more to come where technology is concerned, such as digital warranty brochures and demo videos, but we are also dedicated to catering for everyone – whether digitally inclined or not.

We keep up to date with the latest industry standards and trends by maintaining strong networks of industry connections and taking part in forward-thinking events.

I can imagine even with the most reputable housebuilders, challenges may arise. How do you ensure effective communication and resolution of any issues?

Our customers are in safe and capable hands, supported by a highly experienced team. We align our response timescales with the New Homes Ombudsman’s guidelines, but we consistently strive to beat that, continually improving our standards. For instance, we voluntarily adopted the New Homes Quality Board’s new Code of Practice (NHQC), with a commitment to maintaining a high level of customer care post-completion.

When it comes to resolving issues, we take swift and decisive action to get it done. Customer satisfaction is our priority, and I’m always happy to meet our homeowners personally if they want to talk anything through.

Building a genuine relationship with each customer is paramount to us. We believe in seeing our homeowners as more than names on a screen; it’s about nurturing a connection and providing tailored support. Our impressive 93.8% score for customer satisfaction and five-star rating from the HBF speak volumes!

An incredibly well-deserved achievement, that’s for sure. Developing your own team and steering them to the success of an HBF five-star rating is pretty impressive! Are there any other stand-out moments in your career?

The HBF five-star rating was a huge achievement for me, as part of it is based on customer satisfaction. I think we have all had a hand to play in it at Denbury Homes.

We have been named finalists and nominated for several awards this year, including the Housebuilder Awards, which is incredible. One that stands out to me as Head of Customer Care is our nomination in the Bury Free Press Business Awards. I’m thrilled that the team’s achievements in the region are receiving recognition… let’s keep our fingers crossed that we win!

Delivering houses of exceptional design for aspirational people

For almost 40-years Hopkins & Moore have been building homes across East Anglia. Now, we have renamed to Denbury Homes but are still setting new standards for exceptional design and customer service.