UX to CX: Customer Service Before, During and After the Sale
The customer experience, also known as CX, is each customer’s overall perception of their experience with your business or brand. Whether it’s the first impression they get from your website or the lasting impression based on the home you built them, it’s one of the most vital components of a successful brand.
Many people confuse customer service for the customer experience—when in actuality, the customer service your brand offers to buyers is actually just one (albeit important) part of their overall experience.
The basics of customer service
We’ve mentioned before that how your team approaches customer service has a lot to do with your branding. Whether they’re speaking to customers over the phone, in an online chat or via email, their messaging should align with your company’s mission, values and appropriate terminology. Communication with potential and existing customers should be friendly and prompt—make a genuine effort to be as helpful as possible. Transparency is also key in building trust and creating a positive experience.
Carrying customer service throughout the buyer journey
Potential homeowners with multiple area builders to choose from will take many factors into consideration, and that includes how each builder worked with them during the early stages of their purchasing journey. When they tell you what they’re looking for in a new home or community, take notes—so when time comes to show them their options, they’re tailored to their specific needs, and they won’t feel like just another customer. Answer every question they have, provide marketing or sales materials, give tours of communities and model homes—go above and beyond to show how important they are to your business. Building a strong connection with a potential buyer, and making them feel like a valued homeowner, will leave a lasting impression.
The focus of customer service is usually placed on customers, but how you treat people who don’t end up purchasing one of your homes is just as important as the way you treat buyers. You never know when circumstances will change and they’ll be on the house hunt again—having positive interactions and creating a memorable experience is one of the most effective forms of brand recognition.
But once a customer has signed on the purchase agreement line, providing an exceptional experience becomes vital to your brand’s reputation. The state of the new-construction homebuilding industry over the past year-and-a-half has been difficult on many builders—from material costs and labor shortages to increased demand with dwindling inventory, it’s been challenging keeping customers happy. But by keeping an open line of communication, providing accurate timeline estimates and offering to make things right when something goes wrong, customers can still have a great experience with builders amidst a chaotic market.
If issues arise during the building process that go unresolved or get brushed off by your team, that’s when customers get upset. They’ll often turn to posting negative online reviews, commenting on your social media or even contacting local media if they’re angry enough—all of which can be detrimental to your business and the reputation you’ve worked so hard to earn.
Don’t disappear after closing
Just as customer service is imperative to the buying and building process, going the extra mile after closing can really make a difference—and that doesn’t just mean following through on general questions or warranty requests. Give them a call, drop a welcome package off at their door, invite them personally to planned community events and just make them feel welcome into their new home and neighborhood. These experiences will be fresh on their mind when their friend or family member is looking for a builder, or when you ask them for a testimonial for your website and marketing materials.
Create the best possible customer experience
Having adequate customer service just won’t cut it anymore. Bad customer service leads to a bad customer experience, which in turn creates a bad reputation for your business. Teams with a solid customer service strategy will be ready to offer an authentic experience to potential buyers, winning them over from new-construction competitors and the resale market.
Every brand has a different approach to customer service and the customer experience—and Builder Designs is ready to help you earn the trust of potential buyers. Want to make a better first impression? We can build you a more user-friendly website. Need help differentiating your business from other builders? We can revamp your approach to marketing. Need an overall brand refresh to align better with your mission and values? We can assist with messaging and the visual components. To learn more about how our services can influence your customer service and shape the customer experience, call Amber at (913) 393-3367 or email her at email@example.com.