Larysa Burchenko, Head of the Service Department: The goal of our team is to exceed customer expectations

You purchased an apartment. It would seem like now you can breathe easy and boldly choose the furniture for your future home. But before you get the keys and become a rightful owner of the apartment, you need to go through all the circles of bureaucratic hell. Measurements, signing of documents, conclusion of agreements  registration of the property right is preceded by a number of obligatory procedures. So that you can really breathe easy and quietly schedule repairs, the SAGA Development has a Service Department.

What is the most motivating in our work? Which quests do the specialist of after-sales services have to overcome sometimes? And has the secret of high-quality service been revealed? Larysa Burchenko, the Head of the Service Department, gives the answers to all these questions.

About team work

— The after-sales services team is personnel that consists of service managers, lawyers, financial consultants. Tell us how the department is organized and what its key task is.

 The key task of the Service Department is to support the client from the moment of investing in the housing to the registration of ownership and obtaining the keys to the apartment or commercial premises. We understand that spending all your savings at one time is a stress for any person, so our task is to create the most comfortable conditions on the way to the door of your new home. The support means organization of any process  from printing the invoice to obtaining a permit (or justified refusal, this also happens) to install a jacuzzi on the outdoor terrace on the roof of the building. Each client is individual, each appeal is personal and often quite specific. Sometimes we also go a certain path for the first time and have to scrutinise each route for our investors and their families. Thanks to our clients, every time we learn something new.

We really have a large staff of specialists in various fields. In order to satisfy the requests (and sometimes bold imagination of the client or his designer), professional consultations of designers or engineers, lawyers, architects, finance department are required. We communicate with all participants of ecosystem that is developing and expanding all the time on the construction sites. Among the priority standards of the SAGA Development are safety, legal, financial hygiene and, undoubtedly, a happy and satisfied future resident of our buildings.

— Is there an algorithm of interaction with an investor? Do you always individually respond to the client’s requests?

— There are certain work patterns and business processes for standard queries. At the same time, we understand that our clients are as extraordinary as our facilities. Therefore, we create a large number of algorithms individually for investors and according to their requests.

— What innovations do you implement in your work? How does the SAGA Service Department differ from the after-sale service departments of other developers?

 All the innovations we bring to work have two planes.

The first is, of course, the automation of processes and document management, digitization and development of a "ticking" system for rapid and high-quality response to the client’s requests, transfer of business processes in a smartphone. This, so to speak, is our inner innovation what remains behind the scenes.

The second is what we present to our clients. This is an online management of your home – from payment of utility bills and CCTV to real-time work of your meters on the screen of your smartphone. Our newcomer to the market is Client Technical Control (CTC). Every two months we invite our investors to open meetings to discuss different issues, news and any matters related to future residences and buildings in general.

Our position is a position of openness and transparency, attention to the needs, so we take comments, feedbacks, suggestions in the early stages of construction and can be flexible.

About service

— In your opinion, who sets the standards of service: your client or the company? Or may they be the result of synergy of these two parties?

 Of course, it's a synergy! Both parties develop and teach each other :)

— The Sales Department can measure the results of its work by the number of apartments sold by the manager. And how does the Service Department evaluate the effectiveness and productivity of its work?

 Right now, we are on the stage of testing metrics of the Service Department – this can be the level of the clients’ satisfaction, the number of the requests processed, the time spent on processing the requests, and the number of the property rights registered. We are still searching…

— Everybody knows the expression that the client is always right. But, when it comes to construction, there are many limitations for the investor. Where do the client's "rights" end?

 The clients' rights end where the flight of fantasy and prejudice of the client contradict the common sense – the line is fine enough. To put it bluntly enough: the rights of the clients do not even begin where security, building codes, and the law are neglected. The second limitation is the interference with the conceptual features of the object, an attempt to make changes to the architect's project. In such matters, we have a principled position.

— Were you able to reveal the secret of quality service?

 The secret has not been revealed yet. I'll explain why.

The Service Department is responsible before the client for EVERYTHING that happens during constructing and commissioning a building. We are human-centric. We are open to dialogue and can really do a lot for the client. But, at the same time, we are dependent on external factors (economic, political, geographical, even climatic) and market conditions. We cannot influence them and are forced to hold them accountable before the clients who have chosen us. In most cases, we are all like-minded - both the company and future residents, we are on one wave and understand each other well. We value the trust of our clients, thank them for choosing us on the large market of developers, we will not disappoint them and are sure that the life in our concept buildings will be special!

About client

— What non-standard tasks did investors have to solve?

 Among the recent situation, I remember a girl who had certain "claims" about the actual number of her apartment. Its number was 66 what was not appropriate under numerology. I had to fantasize, but we satisfied her request:)

Do investors’ inquiries differ at different facilities? Do all clients have the same needs after purchasing the apartment?

In general, most requests are within logic and common sense. A kind of F.A.Q. from future residents comes down to two key questions: "how?" and "what do you need?", and then they are specified according to the needs. Residents are concerned with how to make re-planning, how to obtain ownership and what it takes, how to change location of the apartment utilities, and what it takes to begin repair works. On the later stages: how to connect the Sfera application? Is there a repair service and is it possible to work out a design project of the apartment?

There are many requests with regard to dimensions – particular size of the premises, window openings, stairwells in multi-level apartments. Somebody wants faster, someone wants more expensive, and someone enjoys the process of arrangement, carefully weighs everything and chooses for a long time. For someone such things have a lower priority. But everyone's concerns are more or less the same.

About personal performance

— You meet a great scope of work every day. How to cope with 100,500 issues and not go crazy? What motivates you the most in your job as a service manager?

 Soothing helps not to go crazy:)

We live in a very dynamic time. But, as practice shows, due to smartphones we can solve many technical, mechanical and coordination issues without loss of quality. Such a rhythm is rather a routine for us.

What motivates you the most? Perhaps, in the evening time when we can see the lights in the windows of our buildings, and a new cosy life in it – new walls, new lighting, new curtains and flowerpots on windowsills, furniture, habits and traditions, often new little people. Silhouettes of Christmas trees are going to appear very soon... At such moments, the heart fills up with warmth when you know that our work which is often invisible for others brought happiness and made the dream closer. It is a very pleasant feeling. It inspires more when the preoccupied clients being in process of apartment repair come to us and share their feelings, frenzied emotions, and the steps they have taken.

We enjoy it very much, and we rejoice with our clients who have already become close and special for us.

— Tell us about your professional goals. What are your plans for the future in the Service Department?

 Among the priorities of the after-sales services are undoubtedly comfort of the future residents, their time and preserved nerves. So, our main goal of our team is to anticipate the clients’ expectations.

For this purpose, we use international experience, introduce both new trends in work with investors and modern technologies, visit relevant events and study literature, collect feedbacks and correct negative points. This is our direction of development.