Headquarters: Madison, Wisconsin

Founded: 2003

Challenge: Veridian Homes, a family-owned company based in Madison, WI, has been serving residents of Dane County for the past 60 years. Veridian is a long-time user of Avid’s suite of homebuilder tools; in fact, its relationship with Avid started 20 years ago. “We were surveying our customers internally and recognized that when we would set benchmarks we would achieve them, but it was really because we were driving that boat,” says John Maasch, Vice President of Sales and marketing. “We realized we needed a third party to supply us with correct, legitimate data.” Prior to hiring Avid, the company didn’t have access to regression data that would have shown areas where improvement was needed, particularly in customer service. And once the Internet and social media became a part of daily life, Veridian was concerned about negative reviews. “A couple of really horrible comments from one person can cause a lot of damage,” says Maasch. “They may hold you hostage because they want something that you’re not going to give them.”

Avid Solution: Veridian utilizes AvidCX to gather feedback from customers at 30 days and 11 months after closing. A regression analysis of survey findings identifies areas that need to be addressed directly with customers, as well as benchmarks that the company needs to hit. “Being good is not good enough,” he says. “We want to be great, and we want to know what’s going to propel us into the ‘great’ category.” Avid’s program gives the builder the ability to benchmark against the best builders in the business. “If I do my own surveys, I’m benchmarking against myself and it tells me nothing,” Maasch says. “I can pull results from the top 10% of North American home builders. I’ve even reached out to some of those builders and have gotten a lot of great information from them.” Avid’s solutions are invaluable. “In our last survey, we found that about 98% of buyers touched us on the Internet prior to calling or emailing us,” he says. “From a marketing perspective, Avid’s solution set is great because I can make a new furnished model, just completed, the focus of our home page, saying ‘Come take a tour of our brand-new model.’ Our excitement feeds into their experience.” The self-guided video tours, shot in high definition, allow prospective buyers to see rooms in any order, view 360-degree panoramic, and learn about options and other key features that are unique to Veridian. A mapping capability shows the exact spot where the user is standing in the house. The 360-degree feature has been extremely popular, Maasch says. “It’s almost like gaming. Millennials particularly love it because they want to control their experience.” Lastly, Veridian uses Avid’s solutions to ensure that negative reviews or comments don’t show up on page one of a Google search. “Avid is able to keep positive information higher up in the search,” Maasch says. “We’re not perfect, and we’re not trying to hide anything. But I want to make sure that people notice the things we’re doing right.”

Results: Veridian’s leadership team reviews the results of every 30-day and 11-month survey, and shares them with the rest of the company. “Every week, we talk about opportunities and some of the successes noted within those surveys,” he says. “We literally read them aloud.” A “What’s Up” team reviews the survey results for trends “so we can pick up on them in a timely manner.” Recently the company learned, through Avid’s results, that customers were frustrated with their refrigerators. “A specific part was not working properly, and everyone’s refrigerator broke,” Maasch says. “We had been using a specific brand and after a month, noticed that those service calls were skyrocketing. Within 24 hours we pulled those appliances off the shelf.” He admits it took some convincing to get Veridian’s leadership to agree to complete transparency, “because they come from an era where you don’t talk about your dirty laundry. But today you can’t do that, because buyers see through it. If we get bumps we deserve it, and it makes us sharper as a company.”