Customer Experience & Engagement: Keeping the Customer You Earned

4 Steps to Create an Effective Customer Journey Map

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We have talked about the customer journey map before, but I want to revisit again with a deeper look at each step in the creation of a customer journey map.

So, what is a customer journey map? Let’s start there. A great customer journey map documents your customer experience from your customer’s perspective. That is the key. You have to truly put yourself in your customer’s shoes and be a customer. The customer journey map helps you understand not only how customer’s interact with you today, but it also identifies improvement opportunities. Read More

Don’t Let the Rules Be the Obstacle to Great Customer Experiences

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Employees need some freedom and resources to do what’s right for customers. They need to be able to make fast decisions that have a positive impact on a customer’s experience. Too often customers hear, “That is our company policy…”, “I can’t…”, or “You’ll need to speak to a manager.” What all these employees are really saying is, “I have to follow the rules and procedures or I will get in trouble.” Don’t let the rules be the obstacle to great customer experiences. Read More

CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE: Creating a Customer Journey Map

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One poor customer experience can erase one hundred positive customer experiences, because the last impression is the most memorable.  When a prospect leaves your property, they will quickly forget the details in your apartment homes, but they will never forget how you made them feel.  This is why the customer experience is so important.

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Who is Your Ideal Resident

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You are probably working on your 2014 marketing strategies right about now.  I want you to stop what you are doing and think about what kind of car your ideal resident drives.  Also think about what coffee they drink each morning.  Grab a team member for a quick brainstorm to really try to figure it out.


<a href=””><img class=”alignleft size-full wp-image-3321″ src=”” alt=”who is your ideal resident” width=”300″ height=”225″ /></a>You may be a bit confused right now, but there is a method to my madness.  I first experienced the “car and coffee” game when I used to work in a marketing and advertising agency.  Anytime we got a new client, a new team member, or even a new big project, we kicked off our discussions with these two questions.

Why did we do this, and why should you care?  Identifying your ideal resident’s car and coffee choices tells you a lot about them.  It tells you what kind of disposable income they have.  It also tells you what they value.  Maybe they are single and ready to mingle with a luxury coupe.  Or if they drive a van, there is a good chance they have a family.

This is information that you can’t find in your demographics report; it is part of their persona.  And, identifying your prospect persona means understanding your ideal resident’s goals, motivation, and behavior patterns.  Knowing and applying this knowledge is the difference between a high volume of unqualified leads and the right amount of qualified leads.

<a href=””><img class=”alignright size-full wp-image-3322″ src=”” alt=”the car and coffee game” width=”300″ height=”200″ /></a>When you play the “car and coffee” game, I also want you to (very honestly) answer the following questions to better understand your ideal resident.
<li>Who currently rents from you? (the good and the bad)</li>
<li>Why do people rent from you? (be honest!)</li>
<li>Where do your prospects live?</li>
<li>Who and what influence their decision?</li>
<li>Where are they getting their information?</li>
<li>What features and benefits are important?  (think playground or concierge)</li>
<li>What are common objections of the ideal group?</li>
Knowing all of this information will help you more effectively tailor your marketing strategy and tactics to the type of resident that best fits your property.  This means a much shorter sales cycle and less frustration from your team.

I’d love to hear about your discoveries and experience!


Misty Sanford
Social Insight Thought Leader
Renter’s Voice

4 Tips for Delivering a Great Customer Experience

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Historically, companies have had these self-centered tendencies where we expect customers to adapt to us. The customer experience was a result of our needs and culture – our language, our policies, and our practices.  But this does not really work anymore.  The fact is you need your customers more than they need you, which means we must provide a customer experience that actually revolves around the customer, rather than around us.

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