What is the customer journey?

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There is more understanding and planning needed around the real estate customer journey.

Topic – Improving the customer journey

Mentor – Alastair Lias

  • Take them on a journey
  • Understand what they are going through
  • It is all new to them – hold their hand

Marketing Monday – A simple way to set yourself apart from your opposition

Transcript:

Kevin:   This week on the show, we’re going to be talking about the customer journey. Isn’t it funny how we talk about success and we’ve got to acknowledge the fact that anything that’s going to be successful is, you’ve got to look at it upon it as being a bit of a journey. It’s not just that’s where I want to go, this is how I’m actually going to get there. To help us put all this together, Alistair Lias joins me. Alistair is from a company called Speak Confidence. Their website speakconfidence.com.au, they provide an outstanding range of real estate services. Alistair, thank very much for your time.

Alastair:   Good morning. Thank you Kevin and welcome and hello to the listeners.

Kevin:   Yeah, let’s talk about the customer journey. Maybe it might help if you just describe what it is firstly.

Alastair:   Absolutely. It’s a big question. I think the best way to answer that, it’s understanding real estate clients and the journey that they take from the very start of their journey when they start to think about making some sort of a real estate transaction or making a move in their life. And that’s the first, what we’ll call a touch point, where we can reach out to those people. The customer journey then really takes them through from that stage all the way through to the stage when they have sold their property or they bought a property, whatever it might be. Then what happens after that fact, there’s something that I believe. In a lot of industries they fully understand it, they understand the sales pipeline, but it’s very undervalued and there’s not a lot known about the real estate customer journey within the real estate industry.

Kevin:   The important part would be the start. I think it’s interesting, if we spend a little bit of time just talking about the start. At what point, do they just wake up one morning and say, I’m going to sell or is it a slow process where they start to gather a lot of information about the market, the agency and the method of sale?

Alastair:   Again, it can be different for different people obviously. I think that’s what we all the awareness stage where people do become aware that they do need to do something within their life. It could be something sudden that’s happened to them. Obviously as you know there can be marriage breakups, there can be death in the family, they can just be simply a change of job role, whatever it might be. It’s different for different people. A lot of it just comes down to what’s happening in their life at the time and that awareness stage to say, well when they do wake up in the morning or something does happen to instigate it and that’s the very beginning of the customer journey. Not one straight answer there Kevin, it can be several factors in life.

Kevin:   I’m also keen to hear from you because you’ve had an involvement at a national level with a major group and you would have seen a lot of very talented agents over the decade or so that you’ve been involved with that group. Has that need to build a relationship changed? Did it used to be a wham, bam, thank you ma’am. Call them in and make a decision. Whereas now it’s a lot more about building a relationship?

Alastair:   Absolutely. It’s what I call the traditional prospect list sell. That’s generally the way that agents think. Real estate agents are very transactional people. They think from one transaction to the next. Unfortunately when that happens they don’t take the bigger picture, they don’t really understand the bigger picture and they don’t think about their real estate career as opposed to the next sale or the next listing they may actually get.

Alastair:   A lot of the smart ones, and I think the successful ones, do understand that they need to go that extra mile. A lot of the customer journey is about understanding their customer and their business entities. It’s a bit of a buzz word at the moment. A lot of the bigger corporations and companies around the world have really taken that on board. Again, I don’t think it’s a very common thing to sales people. I think the ones that do do it, they do do it well. They don’t always identify exactly what they’re doing. So to some degree they are mapping out their customer journey, they are starting to become more aware of the awareness stage of their potential clients, but they don’t really understand, or they haven’t actually put it into writing or into a graph or whatever it might be to actually map out that customer journey.

Alastair:   So, yes the smart agents do, do it. They do understand it. I just don’t always think that they understand how essential it actually is and what the important things they’re doing as they can’t attribute it to the customer journey at this stage. That’s something that I’d really like to spread out there to understand how that works. If you look at it like a jigsaw puzzle, it is that first piece of that jigsaw puzzle.

Kevin:   Yeah, and I think too the agents who really understand this and pay more than lip service to it, that is building a relationship, get the benefits, because if you just treat it as a transaction, you’re gonna miss a lot of opportunities. As an example, when you make a sale, if you move onto the next one, you miss the opportunity to gt a lot more leverage from that sale.

Alastair:   Absolutely. How many times have we spoken to real estate agents and asked them the question, is it a piece of business or did you deal with a client in the past and you felt that they left you happy? That you were happy, they were happy and everything was rosy. Then you’ve put them on the back burner, you’ve left them there just making the assumption that when they make the next real estate transaction that they’ll automatically come back to you. A lot of the time we just know that’s not true. We take that for granted and that’s really forgetting a huge piece of the customer journey. That’s that last piece to it, that’s really following up and making sure that they are happy and they’re serviced ongoing as well.

Kevin:   I guess tomorrow on the show, when we come back, we will be talking to the leaders of businesses. How important it is to sell this concept to their team. But it’s also a very powerful message for all the individuals understanding what are some of the benefits flowing from this. Alistair, thank you very much for your time. We look forward to catching up with you again tomorrow.

Alastair:   Fantastic, thank you Kevin. Cheers.

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