What Makes Customer Experience A Key Differentiator In Real Estate
The real estate sector in the country has evolved in the past few years. Simply delivering exceptional living spaces and customer service is not enough to help a customer in taking a decision in your favour. The game now rests on who can also deliver a truly differentiated customer experience apart from the right property. With every player in the market offering all the modern amenities, including sprawling greens, spas, sports facilities, gourmet restaurants, the key question in today's time is — What sets one player apart from other in the mind of a customer?
Though simple, customer experience is an important aspect of every business. A number of market players are now changing mindsets. According to a statement in Colin Shaw and John Iven's book Building Great Customer Experiences, “71% of senior business leaders believe customer experience is the new competitive battleground.” In a fast changing and a dynamic market, customers and their exposure to options have increased by manifold. Customer experience is the best bet for players who want to make a difference. Providing service is not enough, the entire look and feel along with the experience of the product is the game clincher.
Even though there is an obtuse relation between customer service and customer experience, they are in no way the same thing. Customer experience is the umbrella under which customer service resides. Here the delivery of services to a customer before, during and post purchase are given importance. Modern customers demand around-the-clock service via both online and offline channels. Customer service is also looked upon as the last resort to turn a potentially negative experience into a positive one.
Customer experience, on the other hand, weaves together all the interactions that a customer engages in — across channels. This encompasses even the little and often overlooked variables such as the response time, the way of responding to queries, the way team members respond — all of it. More importantly, customer experience sets itself apart in the sense that it develops an emotional connect between the brand and the customer. Customer experience is all about letting your customer identify with you at every level of the interaction.
That's not the case still. The interaction between customer and vendor is completely after the sales happen. That is not how it should be. This is a major deal breaker in creating a truly memorable customer experience. The sale and delivery of a property to a customer is not the end of a relationship. It's just the beginning. The entire after sales part is probably one of the most important legs of building enduring customer relations.
According to a Harvard Business Review research paper, the most effective way to maximise customer value is to move beyond mere customer satisfaction and connect with customers at an emotional level – tapping into their fundamental motivations and fulfilling their deep, often unspoken emotional needs. This means catering to customers emotional needs - such as a desire to feel a sense of belonging, to succeed in life, or to feel secure. This is required the most in the real estate sector as the living spaces provided to customers are not just houses – they are a place of lifetime experience, a place to create memories and above everything else a home.
Amarjit Bakshi is the managing director of Central Park.