If you want loyal residents, you have to invest in the experience. This is the trick to being successful in the digital world. The customer’s online experience is an integral part of total customer relationship management.
Start helping and stop selling.
The first thing you must do is to start thinking like a customer; always consider your customer’s perspective first. Ditch your scripts for both sales and customer service and be a real, authentic person. The properties that create real value are able to see their own flaws and strengths through the eyes of residents and prospects.
How do you start helping? Understand what is important to your ideal resident, aka target market, and how your service and community can support and benefit them. Don’t focus on your features; things like hardwood floors or stone countertops, Instead, focus on benefits.
Our industry used to have a rule that all emails had to be answered within 2 hours. Well, that is too slow today. All forms of digital communication must be engaged immediately: emails, Tweets, Facebook messages, mentions, comments…all of it. Respond to the customer as if she were sitting in front of you. You wouldn’t have her wait until it was convenient for you, would you? The digital world should have just as much priority as the real-life world.
Create an emotional connection.
Your customer experience is your competitive advantage. We used to compete on things like price or minor amenities, but that isn’t the case anymore. Residents and prospects want more; they want to feel like they are making a commitment to a person, like they are joining a group. They want their one lease to be very important to you. This is the standard expectation with most purchases now, but it is even truer when choosing your home.
Choosing a home is emotional, or at least it should be. Finding those emotional spots shouldn’t be difficult. This is how you are going to connect, be memorable, and establish a great customer experience.
Misty Sanford, Founder
North of Creative