The Route to Success
You have undoubtedly experienced a situation where a customer in your marketing suite doesn’t follow your usual process or you can’t get any sort of commitment from them. A customer journey map defines the customer experience and all elements of an interaction. The journey takes into account any contact that a customer may have with your product from viewing advertising through to a buyer’s guide they might pick up to flick through and negotiations with your sales personnel.
By defining the customer journey you can dramatically increase the probability of securing the sale or reservation of a property. This doesn’t mean that you have an inflexible script style process (in fact this often occurs when you fail to define the journey). Rather, the journey is like a dependencies matrix where an input has a range of potential paths to follow depending upon what criteria are met. The journey of each customer is therefore defined but different.
Walk through the Experience
Putting yourself in the shoes of a target customer and walking through the experience yourself is often the first step in defining the customer journey. You should define any ‘touch point’ where a customer comes into contact with your brand regardless of whether this is a full interaction. For example, when entering the marketing suite, is the customer greeted by a smiling team member or does the team member not know someone has entered and is sitting somewhere out of sight? Walking through the experience is the best place to start and it gives you first-hand experience enabling you to identify potential shortfalls as well as understanding where there is a particularly strong experience.
Every customer is different and has their own idiosyncrasies. This means that while they all sit in the target market for your product they may have different preferences and weigh the importance of needs differently. For example, a customer seeking an investment property needs better focus on costs, growth and income and will be less interested in local schools and other amenities (except to the extent that they enhance the value or rentability of the property). If a visitor to your marketing suite has booked an appointment online, this visitor should have a different ‘journey’ to the customer who has just popped in, or the customer who has called to make an appointment. Creating a range of options and a dependencies map enables you to ensure that all of the relevant touch points are reached and that the customer receives all experiences necessary to facilitate a successful sale.
Reconcile Reality with your Brand Promise
If you have a luxury development project with properties of over £1 million and your marketing suite is a portacabin with a couple of posters stuck around the door, customers are unlikely to want to enter the premises, let alone part with their cash. This example may be exaggerated, but the disconnect between brand promises and reality can be easily overlooked.
Wherever a customer has any contact with your brand, staff or other indirect contact, it needs to match the reality of the product that you are offering and the promises implied in your marketing.
Make sure that the Behind the Scenes Processes Work
So, you set up the marketing suite and your customer liked what they saw, they sat down with your sales negotiator and they are interested in buying a property. But, the customer isn’t quite ready to commit. They will go away and think about your offer in general but they would really like a small architectural change to the interior which they consider to be essential for their lifestyle.
Imagine now that the sales person communicates this architectural change to the responsible team, but it takes weeks to receive a response. The excitement and enthusiasm that the sales professional has generated has been lost and the likelihood of converting the prospect is drastically reduced.
Creating effective and timely behind the scenes processes is a critical part of the customer journey definition.
The marketing suite customer journey should be just a small part of the overall customer journey experience. The entire experience should be seamless and the customer should always feel valued and important. They should never feel that they are being passed around from pillar to post in order to get the answers and information that they require.
House Marketing can define excellent and effective customer journey matrices and create marketing suites that are designed to best showcase your development product and increase conversions to sale. Ask us now!
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