Whether you’re actively thinking about it or not, buyers are having a customer experience, every time they interact with your brand. With an ever-evolving consumer, even those who have put considerable thought and resources into creating a perfect customer experience find themselves scrambling to stay current.
One thing is certain; if you don’t understand what goes into a modern customer experience, you can’t influence it. Here are three truths about customer experience you’ll need to know to deliver an exceptional one in 2018:
1. There’s been a seismic shift in communication.
The shift to mobile has created a dramatic change in the way we communicate, as individuals as well as consumers. Instead of dedicating time to sit down, connect with others and consume information a few times daily, we’re constantly interacting—with brands and each other—in hundreds of fragmented conversations each day.
Think with Google calls them “micro-moments” and describes them as “I want-to-know moments, I want-to-go moments, I want-to-do moments, and I want-to-buy moments” that shape preferences and influence decisions.
“Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device—increasingly a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. They are intent-rich moments when decisions are made and preferences shaped. In these moments, consumers’ expectations are higher than ever. The powerful computers we carry in our pockets have trained us to expect brands to immediately deliver exactly what we are looking for when we are looking.” (https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/marketing-resources/micro-moments/how-micromoments-are-changing-rules/)
If you are not prepared to deliver what they want, when they want it, even in the language they prefer, you’re likely falling short of those expectations. Human resources alone won’t get you there. Leveraging today’s technologies, such as artificial intelligence (A.I.), alongside your human resources will. A.I. chatbots working with human teams have the power to understand and deliver consistent, compelling customer experience, when combined with the channels consumers prefer.
2. Buyers aren’t where they used to be (and they won’t go where you tell them to go).
What are those channels? Hint: If you’re using email and phone, you’re missing out. Similarly, relying on your website to give home buyers the information they need or forcing them to download an app, just to interact with you, may be missing the boat.
People now spend 91% of their digital time messaging. That means to reach them, you need to be where they already are. In the United States, that’s SMS text messaging and Facebook Messenger.
Start having conversations in those channels, and you’ll see dramatically improved ability to reach and get responses from potential home buyers:
- “Half of home buyers prefer texting to phone calls, yet only 15% of agents do it (and millennials will be 33% of buyers in 2017).” (Forbes)
- ”Text messages are read on average in under five seconds.” (Frost and Sullivan)
- “Sales prospects who are sent text messages convert at a rate of 40% higher than those who are not sent any text messages.” (Velocify)
3. Creating a great customer experience pays dividends.
Great customer experiences drive revenue. For home builders, they also shorten contact-to-contract times, decrease carry costs and increase repeat purchases and referrals.
Companies who are customer experience leaders see 14% higher compound average revenue growth than customer experience laggards, according to Forrester. Consider investing in technologies that allow you to create consistently great customer experiences, and measure their impact.