Acquiring customers isn’t cheap or easy. In fact, acquiring new customers can cost as much as five to seven times more than simply retaining your existing customers. Shifting our focus from lead generation to customer experience sounds like a no brainer, right?
Focusing on the renewals rather than acquiring new leases is easy. Why? Because renewals shouldn’t be a last ditch effort to beg people to stay.
The months of great customer experience lead up to the renewal moment. It’s an ongoing process that starts at the point of purchase and encompasses the resident’s experience throughout their lease. Remember, it is all about the small moments.
If you want to keep your residents and prospects from leaving, never stop selling. More importantly, never stop selling yourself and the value you provide.
There’s a saying that goes “The sale begins after the sale”. This means you should never see residents as someone else’s responsibility. If your residents have a problem with the dishwasher, you should be involved. You never wipe your hands of the deal. Because as far as you should be concerned, things are just getting started when the lease is signed.
We have a few tips to keep top of mind while you are interacting with residents to ensure a great customer experience that delivers high resident retention.
- Set Resident Expectations.
The first step to building better customer retention is to set resident expectations early. The earlier the better. By setting expectations early, you eliminate uncertainty as to the level of service you need to offer to ensure your residents are happy. This also allows you to build KPIs around specific expectations and ensure you are always over delivering.
- Build Trust Through Relationships and Remove the Fear.
We all like to do business with people we trust. Trust is essential in business, and building relationships with residents will garner that trust. But trust doesn’t just happen with anyone. You must take an interest in your residents and their story. Understand how you can play a role in their day-to-day activities and use this info to strengthen your relationship. It can be something as simple as knowing when they need to pick up packages or their communication preferences. We’re all learning that simply providing a service is no longer sufficient. As new properties enter the market, you need to start building shared values with residents and showing that you take an interest in them and want to provide a wonderful home.
- Develop and Anticipatory Service Strategy
Anticipatory service is a proactive approach to customer service. Instead of waiting for problems to occur, anticipatory service can eliminate problems before they even happen. This is important because the value you get is correlated to the value you give. To achieve this, you must understand your residents’ information needs and communication preferences. Instead of just playing the waiting game, check in with your residents.
- Take It Online and Make It Easy.
Where are your residents? They’re online. That means that the entire customer experience is not face-to-face interaction. People are glued to their computer screens, so connect with them online! Keep in mind that connecting with customers and building communities takes more effort and time than typical social media acquisition strategies. It is a daily exercise if you want to do it properly.