Understanding your customer journey is the best practice
Each day dozens of prospective customers are in contact with your brand to find a new home. Before they contact you, much research has gone into their planning. They pinpointed the desired location, evaluated comments from industry websites such as HomeViews, calculated their budget, planned their timelines, and are now directly engaged with your brand.
They want to find out what life looks like in your building, the community they will live in, the amenities they enjoy, etc. In short, they are ready to test your brand promise!
They visit your website, select their top one or two choices of apartments and book a viewing. Soon after, they meet your lettings team, visit your property, sign the leasing contract, move in and live happily ever after! Sounds too good to be true, but is it?
The reality can be quite different, and that’s where the Mystery Shopper provides operators and landlords with crucial insight. How do you know that during the many contacts with your brand, the prospective customer is happy, still engaged, and the recipient of curated and targeted information that ultimately leads to a signed contract? Unless you are eavesdropping, you must rely on your team’s input, their interpretation of your brand, and their attempt to convert the viewing into a sale.
Here are just a few touchpoints that you should be aware of:
- Ease of booking – how fast can you make an appointment, and how often does your team have to email back and forth to gather all the criteria you require for a lettings contract?
- Are you listening? Do you use some information obtained during the initial contact to create a rapport with the customer?
- How often are you in contact before the viewing via phone or email? Are you sending a courtesy email with brand-relevant information before a viewing?
- When the customer arrives, who will likely be your brand’s first person to meet them? What is in place to make your customers welcome and expect?
- Have you “choreographed” and rehearsed your lettings tour? Do you provide a complete picture of your brand offering, or are you “winging” it?
- What happens after the viewing? Is your team following up on any requests and checking if the customer is ready to move to the final step?
Acting on customer intel is the best practice
A Mystery Shopper will report on the entire customer journey, how they feel interacting with your team and brand and how well your brand promise meets their expectations.
Based on receiving frequent feedback, you can consistently fine-tune your processes and standards to become
- more efficient in your booking process
- more service-focused when welcoming your customers to the property
- optimise your qualifying techniques to offer a targeted selection
- streamline your tours and focus on the essential parts
Mystery Shopping has been a well-known best practice in the hotel industry for decades, and the build to rent sector will equally benefit from this approach. An audit allows operators to benchmark, course-correct when and where required, and offer a much better customer experience.
With the rental market still favouring landlords, you might not think this is a necessary step, but as soon as the market swings around, old practices and behaviour can catch you off guard. It is tough to switch old habits quickly, and in a tenant-led market, you need all the advantages over your competitors.
According to the British Property Federation, in Q2/2022, a total of 47764 units are currently under construction across England – when they enter the market, your team should be ready!
MORICON Mystery Shopper can be your eyes and ears on the ground – our team works throughout the UK and acts fast to test and report, allowing you to improve your customer and brand experience, audit by audit!
Don’t let the customer down on your brand promise! Manage the discovery part of the customer journey to reach a successful conclusion and reap the benefit of this best practice approach: a signed lettings contract!