The why, that I’m pretty sure you already know!
The business world is all in a buzz over consumer-centric strategies for not only acquiring new customers but also retaining those customers year over year. Retention in the real estate sector means referrals and repeat business. A condo leads to a town home leads to a house leads to investment duplex…and pretty soon that 8 unit apartment building seems too good to pass up. You get my drift.
Retention & referrals are achieved based on the ultimate success of your customer, which 100% depends on how well you do your job and to an increasing degree, what technology you use to get there. Driving this shift to leveraging technology is the fact that consumer expectations are disrupting every industry and that requires a completely different approach from customer service (no matter how stellar) because even great service tends to be reactive, not proactive.
A key difference between customer service and customer success is implementing proactive methods throughout the entire relationship. Beyond the single transaction, beyond the follow up call, and with an artificial intelligence level of customization for each customer.
I recently read a quote that really seemed to hit the nail on the head:
Teresa Duran, CIO of John L Scott noted in her article ‘How the Real Estate Industry Differs from Others When it comes to Technology’:
“Consumers want the purchasing process to be hassle-free, expecting certainty and value. They are willing to pay for services that offer convenience and depend less on human interaction to accomplish their goals.”
I have more to comment on that quote, but first let’s move onto the what.
What is customer journey mapping and does it require a compass?
Simply put…journey maps help you look at your processes from within the shoes of your customer so you can experience the actual journey they take while interacting with you, your company, and your professional network partners. The result? You’ll discover where the gaps are, the frustrations, and the high stress points. Once discovered, work can begin on solutions for creating superior experiences.
No compass needed!
And even more good news – you don’t have to buy anything at all to create a journey map! You can choose your own method of visualizing the journey and all you need to really concentrate on is the following steps:
- Create personas. Who are your customers & what makes them tick?
- Understand each of the persona’s goals.
- Map out each touchpoint you currently have in place. This includes phone, email, text, social media, website, and in-person interactions.
- Map out sample transactions that include your professional network partners – like inspectors, JetClosing Title, and lenders.
- Identify customer pain points
- Prioritize and fix road blocks
- Update and improve
I make number 7 sound easy, don’t I? We’ll explore that one plus the others in my next blog. So exciting!
Take a look at this sample template that shows one of many different ways to approach maps. Remember, these can be as simple or complex as you want. Start out with a good, basic template and just begin to fill in what you know. Add information as it comes to you.
Screenshot via Nielsen Norman Group
Now back to that quote…
Each and every one of us are consumers, and we all expect hassle-free, convenient experiences where we get to compare and choose our options to ensure we’re getting the best value and benefit. When this experience doesn’t go well, there may not be a second chance to win back their business and trust.
The very last part of the quote is what makes our stomachs churn because we know that it’s truly happening in every business, every industry. That fact is changing consumer expectations and the way we must go about making our business decisions. The best part, (yes, there is one), is the incredible number of innovative solutions that are available to us.
Knowing your customers (that’s the journey mapping part!) and leveraging partners that have created technology from a customer’s lens (that’s the JetClosing part!) will not only become necessary, it will become the core, proactive focus of your business strategy.
- If You Could Change One Thing: Action Plans from Journey Maps
Get in touch!