Where does a customer-obsessed culture start? With the CEO.
Jeff Mezger, Chairman, President, and CEO at KB Home, is known for his customer-centricity. That mindset has spread throughout the company to create a culture of customer obsession. Every employee knows their role and the impact of their work, which leads to incredibly high customer satisfaction rates.
“To me, everyone is the chief customer satisfaction offer in our company,” said Mezger. “We empower, and it’s top of mind for everyone.”
Customer satisfaction creates a strong reputation and competitive advantage. Homebuilding isn’t necessarily a business that invites repeat customers, but referrals play a huge role. Mezger says that the more you take care of a customer, the more confident they are in bringing more customers to you. Providing a stress-free experience to customers benefits the company with great rates and lower warranty claim costs because customers are satisfied initially, but it also invites referrals.
Customer obsession is a differentiator for KB Homes. It’s clear in everything the company does, down to its vision statement to be the most customer-obsessed homebuilder in the world. When creating that vision statement, Mezger wasn’t sure if obsessed was the right word. But he wanted to make a bold statement that could be a rallying cry for the entire employee base. That mission statement of customer obsession is now a guiding light for every situation, from building new homes to connecting with customers and hiring contractors and employees. Employees ask themselves, ‘What would the most customer-obsessed homebuilder in the world do?’ Mezger says that usually, the answer is to take care of the issue and satisfy the customer.
Customers are foundational to KB Homes’ culture because Mezger keeps them there. Every management meeting starts by discussing customer satisfaction and best practices that can spread to the rest of the company. With a decentralized company in multiple states, Mezger relies on division presidents to spread customer centricity; the first topic in their weekly updates to the CEO is customer satisfaction.
KB Homes is also continually improving by proactively seeking out customer feedback about how to improve the experience. Mezger and his team pay close attention to metrics and set goals for the entire company. Tracking metrics like customer satisfaction internally with surveys and other KPIs helps teams stay on track and ensure customers are always central.
A customer-obsessed culture doesn’t happen by accident. It requires the effort of every employee and the example of the CEO. At KB Home, being the most customer-obsessed homebuilder is a bold goal that every employee is empowered to achieve, all because of the CEO.