The Adobe Symposium has concluded for 2019 and the Property Republic team has gathered the lessons we’ve learned and the valuable insights we’ve gained from one of the sessions, The Future of Customer Experience.
Immersive. Digital. Personalised.
These are the best words that describe the customer experience in the age of technology. We can clearly see the transformations in banking and retail where digital technology changed the way business is done.
“We used to say, ‘We’re never going to buy shoes that we can’t try first’. And now, the online shoe industry is huge and everyone is doing it. Because you make the experience great, you make the return easy, and then you make that experience much nicer for the person,” said Samadhi Thomaz, Digital Architecture Manager of Mitsubishi.
Taking the customer experience digital has been favourable for many industries, but why aren’t we ground-breaking in property? How can ensure a memorable experience for our customers?
Here are three main takeaways from the symposium that can help us become disruptors in our industry:
- Great customer experience involves more than just customer service.
Most marketers have realised the importance of providing great customer experience, but what does great customer experience really mean?
For many in the property industry, it may mean competitive prices, a great location and promising amenities. Finding a competitive advantage might eventually get you the customer but meeting their expectations is more important.
Interested buyers might already like your product offering and like you as a company, but their customer experience can be improved by keeping your promises and exceeding their expectations.
Are your current pipeline of customers satisfied with their purchase journey? Have you sufficiently communicated with them along the way to inform them of any updates or delays?
Make sure that every touchpoint is addressed. Try to reduce complaints and bad reviews by addressing their concerns. Educating them about the home buying process can do a lot to manage your customers’ expectations and contribute positively to their overall experience.
By meeting, and especially exceeding, every touchpoint of the customer journey, it’s easier for your purchasers to become raving fans.
- Data-driven personalisation should be a positive experience.
In the age of big-data and the many issues surrounding data privacy, marketers should consider how to turn data-driven personalisation into a positive experience. This can be done by giving your customers complete autonomy of what they want.
You might be able to predict your customers’ behaviour and anticipate the information they might need; you know that they searched for land in Melbourne and that they are first home buyers. But the puzzles still don’t fit together enough to confidently just offer them a house and land package that you think will suit their needs best. How many bedrooms do they need? Are they looking for single or double storey? What’s their budget?
Personalisation will be well received if you use the technology at your disposal to allow your customers to pick their own journey and make their own decisions. Give them options and make each one count.
- Recognising the customer life cycle is essential.
Some people will buy a car and intend to use it for a lifetime. Others will buy a car and will want to buy another several years down the track. This also applies to houses. There are home buyers who are in it for the long run, and many others who view it as a lucrative investment or stepping stone to a better lifestyle for their family.
By considering your target customers’ life cycle, you can design your customer experience for every touchpoint they have with your brand.
It doesn’t end when they’ve paid their deposit and signed the contract. Whether they are buying a house for the short-term or long-term, it’s important to be with them every step of the way.
Try to keep your existing customers in the loop. Send them an email and ask how they are after they’ve settled in their new home. Or partner with a lifestyle retailer to offer discounts on home furnishings. Don’t stop communicating. This approach not only shows that you care about them but will ensure that you continue to build brand loyalty, even if they don’t have plans to move home for another 20 years.
And when their family or friends are house-hunting, your brand will be top of mind and that free referral will be yours!