The Customer Experience: Why Is It So Important?
For real estate companies their customer’s experience will be the journey along the way to a successful transaction.
As we continue to develop Agorafy, our guiding principal is to continuously expand the ways in which we provide value for our users. From their first visit to our site to incorporating our platform into their everyday routine, it is paramount we over-deliver at every step.
Many technology companies forget that at the end of the day they are providing a service, and every interaction a user has with your product or site is an opportunity to deliver a great experience. Years of running a commercial brokerage has given me a deep understanding of what it means to provide a great experience for your clients. This is the mindset I bring to Agorafy, looking to help real estate professionals do the same.
What is the Customer Experience?
For real estate companies their customer’s experience will be the journey along the way to a successful transaction. The summation of all the interactions they have with their broker and every facet of your company as you look to service their needs and meet their goals (e.g. find them a home, not a house).
Providing a positive customer experience isn’t just meaningful for the retail and hospitality industries, it’s important for any professional that is providing a service to a user or a client. Going above and beyond the typical duties for an agent and exceeding expectations is the only way to build a relationship and ensure that you have a client for life.
To over-deliver on the service real estate professionals provide, first you need to understand the foundation on which all of your interactions with your clients will be based:
What do your clients expect? Understanding and managing your client’s expectations is the first step in helping them achieve their goals and over-delivering throughout the process.
What will your clients actually experience? There are many things you can’t control throughout a real estate transaction, but there are a handful of things which need to be consistent. How quickly agents respond to their inquiries, the ability to offer solutions, and how they emotionally connect to their clients are all within your firm’s control.
Real estate firms looking to answer these questions can look to other industries to see how they incorporate the belief in maximizing the customer’s experience and the benefits it has for building their brand and retaining their customers. The perfect case study would be Zappos, the online retailer for shoes, clothing etc. Zappos and their CEO Tony Hsieh don’t view themselves as a retailer; they truly believe they are a service company that just happens to sell shoes. See: Hsieh – Building a Formidable Brand.
Likewise it’s important for real estate firms to understand first and foremost that they are providing a service, and they just happen to market and negotiate real estate transactions.
To Hsieh, this begins first with the company’s culture. He believes that when a customer is interacting with your company everything they experience will be an extension of your firm’s culture, and that “culture” and “brand” are interchangeable. Real estate firms must provide a culture where agents succeed through maximizing the customer experience for every client.
To ensure a strong company culture dedicated to the customer experience, firms needs to be selective in whom they bring on board. Brokers and agents who share the firm’s core values and culture will have a commitment to their clients. Likewise, real estate professionals with extensive local knowledge and that feel a sense of responsibility to the local market will succeed in providing a high customer experience.