From initial enquiry to moving-in day, your customer goes through a journey with you, and the other parties involved with buying (and often also selling) a home. It’s a huge decision for anyone and the single biggest purchase anyone is likely to make. A smooth, planned and considered customer journey has a remarkable effect on sales retention and therefore, your business.
How much do you consider your customer journey? In our experience, most developers excel at prospecting and sales, and indeed their part in the sales progression process. However, could you be doing more and how would it help your business’ bottom line?
Data is king!
Having a full, accurate and legally compliant prospect list is vital. The introduction of GDPR forced lots of developers to reconsider their approach to data capture and management. This extra focus does seem to have improved the quality over quantity of data held and has encouraged developers to be more creative in how they interact with potential prospects.
Having high-quality data to work with is always a great start for any development. Effective data capture tactics such as hoardings (as discussed in our previous blog) are a great way to build a prospect list for a new development. Don’t forget, if they’ve signed up to your list it’s likely they’ve signed up to others too. Make sure your communications are the best and keep their attention focused on you.
Communication puts minds at ease
Buying a home is a big thing, and as well as being an exciting time, it can often cause angst and concern especially if the buyer hasn’t moved home for many years. By communicating effectively and consistently with buyers there is much to be gained.
The biggest benefit by far has to be a calm and comfortable buyer who feels you are on-the-ball, able to support them with any concerns and pre-empting their questions. They’re less likely to pull out of a purchase and more likely work with you to progress the sale quickly and effectively.
Customise the experience
Everyone likes to feel special! A customised customer journey caters for a customer’s unique needs and makes them feel appreciated. Technology allows you to customise emails to contain specific details relevant to them, making their lives easier whilst also removing any possible confusion. We help homebuilders to automate their marketing process too – meaning customised content, sent to targeted contacts run seamlessly without too much administration. Set up in advance, these kinds of tools allow you to work efficiently, whilst keeping your customers feeling loved and in-the-loop.
Information at their fingertips
The Covid pandemic swiftly forced a move from printed materials to digital as people need to make decisions remotely. More information available online means buyers can self-serve removing reliance on 1-2-1 contact from busy sales advisers. Although the sales relationship is of course extremely important, having the right information available 24/7 makes customers more confident in a purchase.
Educating for a smoother process
The sales progression is reliant on lots of elements being lined up and working together to enable the purchase, including legal and financial processes. Often buyers are unsure of what is required of them and what they can do to speed up or streamline the process. As part of the sales progression, the developer can support the buyer by advising in advance of what to expect and prompting along the way. Part exchange programmes and Help to Buy initiatives have added to the process, however, those selling a property in order to buy another are often the more complicated purchaser. A faster exchange of contracts is what every housebuilder is aiming for, especially if the property is ready to be lived in.
Good relationships lead to good reputations
A thorough customer journey with good communication throughout leads to excellent customer relationships and as a result, good brand reputations. Word of mouth is not only the cheapest form of promotion but also the most effective!
One of our clients, in particular, has a trademark 1:1 personalised sales process where the customer journey is king. Their outstanding reputation is testament to this process and as a result, new properties sell quickly and mostly off-plan.
Bad customer journeys can be devastating
Just as great experiences result in happy customers, excellent reputations and low levels of cancellations, bad experiences can have a hugely negative effect on your business. Bad news spread much more quickly than good and cancellations are frustrating, especially when a little communication means they could have been avoided. Why risk the hard work you’ve put into sales, to fall short in the final stages. Good customer journeys really do have a direct impact on your bottom line!
If you’d like to review your customer journey and identify ways in which you can make improvements that enable you to sell more homes swiftly and at the best possible prices, get in touch. We’d love to hear from you.