Remember “back in the day” when we actually knew dates and
phone numbers by heart, read a physical map for directions or even stopped and
paid a quarter to use the payphone. Thanks to digital disruption – a term coined by Forrester Research, all of
this information is now at our fingertips. The phrase “back in the day” seems
irrelevant because we are living fast and in the moment, always one step ahead.
Technology can help us to make smarter, timelier decisions.
However, sometimes our fast-paced, digitally advanced
lifestyles can create quite a bit of noise and distraction. The distraction
takes away from our attention span and before we know it, we’re subconsciously
moving on to the next step before even finishing the last one. As a consumer,
we know we do this. As a seller on the other hand, we need to think about slowing
down. That doesn’t mean get rid of distracting technology. It means understand
how to use technology to your advantage with your target demographic and get
back to the basics with your customers. It means ensuring that the customer
experience is consistent and fluent across customer touch points. How do you get
attention and attract people to your community and/or your website? Once
they’re there, how do you keep them interested? You may have the tools, but
consistency is the key.
Identify your customer touch points
It is critical to recognize your customer touch points by tracking
your customer journey and determining the key touch points where customers connect
with your brand. While there’s no one-size-fits-all list of touch points, it’s
important to include points across all channels. Here is a set of examples for
Word of mouth
Open house opportunities
Handwritten thank you notes
Identifying key customer touch points and staying consistent
each time provides a user experience that your buyers can appreciate. To
identify the touch points that make sense for your brand, take a second to step
out of your role and into the customer’s shoes. When you walk yourself through
the customer’s journey and understand the total customer lifecycle – attract,
sell, service -
all the pieces should become pretty clear.
The easy customization capabilities of a modern CRM system can
be a blessing and a curse. As simple as it is to tailor the software to a
company’s unique sales process, it’s equally easy to pollute the database with
data fields and expect sales reps to capture everything from a customer’s dog’s
name to his favorite college football team. Once you throw in the fields that
marketing and customer service organizations want to track as well, you’ll end
up inundating your sales reps with a data entry nightmare they’re sure to
avoid. Instead, follow these simple guidelines and let your salespeople get
back to what’s most important – selling.
·What is the data you will use?
·How will you use that data?
·Understand why you’re collecting each piece of
data (and if it serves no purpose, get rid of it).
Understand what you want the end customer experience to be
Each brand has a different target audience and offers a
different customer experience. Maybe you’re selling a quite home in a
retirement community or showing a five bedroom, three bath family home in the
suburbs. Maybe you’re selling a studio loft in the heart of the city. Each
market requires a different experience. They key is consistency –
1.Know who you are
2.Understand what touch points reinforce who you
3.Train, motivate, and reward your sales people
for living who you are
Gartner analyst, Brian Prentice’s report Applying Digital humanism to Customer
Experience Design, published May 12, 2015 suggests that “chances are that
the customer would share more information with the employee than the
organization as a whole. The opportunity for an organization is to apply
digital workplace strategies to empower its staff to create connections with
its customers that are impossible without meaningful connections existing
Finally, please take a minute to slow down
It’s no longer “back in the day”, it’s the twenty-first
century and digital disruptions aren’t going anywhere. Don’t fight against
technology to stand out, work with it instead. Use technology to understand the
customer life-cycle but add in a few simple, personal touches along the way, like
a quick follow-up phone call rather than a standard email or maybe even a
handwritten thank you note. It may be important to know the name of your
customer’s dog or their favorite college football team but I would argue that
it is more important to create separation from the noise by differentiating
yourself. It’s important is to slow down and know what will give your customer
an experience that will not only encourage them to spread the word, but will
also have them coming back.