Countrywide is the largest estate agency group in the United Kingdom with approximately 1,300 Estate Agent and Letting Agent branches employing over 8,000 staff. Countrywide operate some of the biggest and best known names in the industry such as Mann Countrywide, Bairstow Eves, Dixons and Gascoigne-Pees. They are also a leading provider in mortgage services, land and new homes, auctions, surveying, conveyancing and property management. Countrywide help more people move than any other business in the UK.
Countrywide were interested in examining the relationship they have with their customers focusing on those that have recently withdrawn their properties from sale with Countrywide Estate Agents.
They had 2 main objectives to be collected through quantitative market research, the first involved establishing clients’ reasons for withdrawing their properties from sale with Countrywide, and the other was to establish the eventual outcome of those properties that are withdrawn i.e. did the owners stay put, did they let or attempt to sell them through another estate agent.
These objectives were to be fulfilled by conducting a 5 - 10 minute telephone interview with their customers taken from a random sample of their database consisting of different regions, different price brackets, and the different brands in which the properties were marketed from, thus building a true reflection of the relationship they held with their customers.
It was important the information captured was quantitative and suitable for numeric illustration such as graphs or charts, equally the data needed to be provided back to Countrywide in a manner that could be manipulated in to given subsets such as property price bands, regions, or question response to give them the ability to focus on specific areas as and when required.
In mid 2011, The Telemarketing Company were selected to help achieve these goals, and have since conducted the same research for Countrywide several times over.
Project execution and results
Countrywide came to The Telemarketing Company with a survey they wished to conduct with their customers which was reviewed and discussed to ensure the appropriate questions were being asked, and in the right way.
After numerous suggestions and tweaks to the script it was agreed The Telemarketing Company would run a free, no obligation 1 hour trial to accurately determine success rates and fine tune the survey where appropriate. Based on the results, a revised cost model was issued along with an expected timeframe for completion, and agreement was given to proceed with the project.
The Telemarketing Company built the agreed script in to a CATi platform and imported those customers Countrywide were looking to target. The platform was thoroughly tested by The Telemarketing Company and once approved selected agents were briefed on the project.
During the calls agents were expected to collect numerous responses such as the customers initial reason for selecting the estate agent, how satisfied the customer was with the property valuation, the marketing process, the feedback they received, why the property was withdrawn, and what happened to the property following on from that. As they were representing Countrywide, it was important the agents remained polite and courteous at all times to ensure the positive feeling towards Countrywide was maintained by the end of the call.
The Telemarketing Company supplied Countrywide with a written report on a daily basis offering an update on the results obtained to date, supported by both verbal and electronic communication on the progress of the project throughout the campaign. Ad Hoc data extracts were also sent to Countrywide when requested, as well as at the end of the project so responses could be reviewed without delay.
The Telemarketing Company have worked with Countrywide on 3 separate occasions, generating well over 1,000 surveys for Countrywide to review.