Our History

1331 BC – Tutankhamun is Eliant’s first builder-client
Yep, we started doing customer satisfaction surveys a long time ago. The ancient Egyptians had a lot to say about the customer-experience with their pyramid builders, and we were there to capture every one of their complaints, such as: Sales rep didn’t tell us there would be no windows in our pyramid; Design center rep didn’t let us pick out stone color of the sarcophagus in living room; Builder’s slave dragged mud on his bare feet onto our tomb’s carpeting during walk-through…Uggh! We’ll never buy from this builder again! A pox on all their ancestors!

Now we’re happy to announce that 2014 is our 30th Anniversary…and we’re thrilled to say we’ve come a long way in helping builders, from our stone engraved hieroglyphic surveys, Rosetta Stone reports, to Aramaic quill-inked parchment scrolls, carrier pigeon surveys, Morse Code, ink on paper, telephone interviews, and state-of-the-art e-surveys and mobile device reports…

What will be next?
Thanks to our amazing builder clients and their customers, year-after-year we keep developing the latest breakthroughs for delivering an extraordinary customer experience through the Measurement, Consultation, Transformation, and Certification of builder teams.

So put away your hieroglyphic translation dictionary, and check out our Historical Timeline!

Eliant’s 30th Anniversary – Historical Timeline

Oct 1984 – Mirman launches National Survey Systems (NSS) based on his pioneering customer-evaluation-survey success stories with both (NFL Hall of Fame quarterback) Fran Tarkenton and his Behavioral Systems, Inc., and General Mills, Inc, (as Director of Performance Systems). Initial clients of NSS include General Mills, Procter & Gamble, Kraft Foods, Kellogg

1984-86 – NSS begins customer evaluation surveys of service departments for BMW, Toyota, GM, Pontiac dealerships: The first-ever customer surveys for these dealerships.

1986 – NSS’s first new-homebuilder client: Shea Homes’s Dana Kovach (Kovach Marketing) connects NSS with Shea Homes and launches Shea’s first customer satisfaction surveys

1986 – For Shea Homes, NSS develops customer evaluation survey system to compare numerous builders’ customer ranking scores to each other. Initial builders included Shea Homes, John Laing Homes, Standard Pacific Homes, California Pacific Homes, William Lyon Homes, and eight other esteemed builders.

1988 – Develops telephone surveys for new-home shoppers’ satisfaction evaluations. Phone surveys discontinued in 1992 due to Mirman’s concerns about statistical validity.

1989 – Survey systems and reports see leap in refinement and ingenuity with CTO Alex Roqueta joining NSS

1989-94 – NSS sees growth of 20-35% per year during recession

1990 – Mirman’s first speech at PCBC conference, on evaluating Customer Satisfaction of homebuilders

1990-92 – Mirman begins speaking frequently throughout US at homebuilder conferences. PCBC, ECBC, NAHB (International Builders’ Show), and others.

1990 – Mirman begins writing for Builder Digest, Builder Magazine, Professional Builders Magazine

1992-2001 – National Survey Systems teams with Jeff Myers (Myers’ Research & Strategic Services), Eva Busby Carrberry, Bev Trupp (CDA Color Design Art) and John Schleimer (Market Perspectives) to create the annual PCBC “VISION” breakfast presentation delivering Western-states survey data on homebuyers’ preferences. Up to 1800 people attend each year during the ten years of this program.

1997 – Mirman begins writing articles for Big Builder Magazine

2001 – Martha Baumgarten teams with NSS while she leads the customer experience program at Shea Homes, and begins teaching their staff how to set customer expectations. Martha later joins NSS and heads the training department. This was a game changer.

2002 – Builders begin sending their staff directly to Eliant for training, which saw numerous Eliant builder-clients rise from worst (or nearly worst) customer survey rankings, to first (or nearly first)

2002 – National Survey Systems/NSS changes name to Eliant. The company’s new tagline, The Blueprint for Building an Extraordinary Customer Experience, represents the transformation in the company’s culture and mission: Not just providing data, but helping builders create additional sales from referrals.

2003 – Eliant reaches 400 builder clients

2003 – Eliant creates first annual National Roundtable on Homebuyer Satisfaction conference, held annually through 2007 and attended by over 600 builders per year

2003 – Big Builder Magazine selects Bob Mirman and Eliant to write an entire special issue about the Customer Experience. This issue, Cash In on Satisfaction, written by Bob Mirman and Eliant’s leaders, was the biggest selling issue for Big Builder magazine in their history

2003 – Dramatic success of Eliant’s Big Builder Magazine special issue is impetus for Eliant’s expansion of their Customer Experience program. Martha Baumgarten joins Eliant as Director of Education and Training, and develops The Customer Experience ChampionTrain the Trainer program, to train builders how to deliver an extraordinary customer experience

2004 – Due to Eliant’s 1st issues’s success, Big Builder Publisher, Hanley Wood, commissions Eliant to write entire second annual issue, Planning Your Homebuyers’ Dream Ride.

2004Planning Your Homebuyers’ Dream Ride special issue becomes huge hit in the homebuilding industry. BB Magazine editor, Wyatt Cash, writes, “We were caught off guard by the response,” as over 60,000 copies were ordered. Many builders purchase 3,000 copies at a time for distribution to all divisions’ teams and vendors.

2005 – Bob Mirman and Eliant write 3rd annual special issue for Big Builder Magazine, The 6 Values

2005–Present – Many builders tell Eliant they are using their 3 Big Builder Magazine special issues as required reading for all their managers, and as the template for their entire customer satisfaction plan

2006 – Develops new paradigm for all Eliant’s survey questions and reports

2006-07 – Eliant begins focus primarily on email surveys and begins using paper surveys as a supplement

2009 – Introduces online reporting with their proprietary software system, “Transport” – Executive dashboards & interactive drill-down reports

2009 – Eliant’s first Webinars begin conducting Customer Experience Training on-line

2010 – Begins revolutionary Customer Experience project with Emaar, a major builder in Dubai, UAE

2011 – Opens up Canadian market with builders nationwide

2011 – Launch of the Eliant Certified program (Training & Certification of qualified builder vendors)

2011 – RET Staffing (Real Estate Temps) meets criteria for being selected, and becomes the first Eliant Certified vendor

2011 – Fidelity National Title Group is selected and becomes an Eliant Certified group of vendors

2012-13 – imortgage selected as Eliant Certified lender, and within eighteen months moves from bottom 20% on survey scores of all lenders rated by Eliant, to Eliant’s #1 ranked lender in the US for customer satisfaction

2012 – 15th anniversary of annual Homebuyers Choice Awards

2013 – Eliant begins work on customized, customer-experience project with major builder in Saudi Arabia

2013 – Eliant selects Vintage Design and Crummack Huseby, Inc as Eliant Certified vendors

2013 – Initial TradeSTAR program conducted in Calgary, Canada (Customer service training & Certification for trade personnel)

Jan 2014 – Customer Champion program introduced (Builder-Staff Customer Experience Certification)

Contact us to learn more about how we can help you create the future of your Customer Experience, and leave the hieroglyphics far behind.

Contact us to learn how you can build an extraordinary customer experience