Ten Ways to Create a Positive Customer Experience
Remember back in the day when Otis Spunkmeyer would deliver to model homes magical brown boxes filled with 48 frozen balls of unbaked happiness? When your first order of the day upon arriving to work was to preheat the oven and get those dough balls baking?
While we still see a handful of New Home Sales professionals baking cookies in their models, the days of builders requiring salespeople to keep a steady stream of cookie-drenched air flowing through the model home are long gone. For the most part, a bottle of cold water and a mint will suffice. After all, people aren’t there for the cookies.
Or are they?
Well, no. They’re not there for the cookies. But people DO visit model homes for an experience. They want to walk into your beautiful model home and imagine it’s their beautiful actual home. They want an encounter, a moment to determine whether they can achieve the lifestyle they’re looking for even when they may not know what that lifestyle looks like. And while we may not want to imagine their three small children running around the house like banshees, we kind of should want them to run around like banshees because that’s what kids do in their natural environment. And we want their parents – and all of our prospects – to feel like building a home with you could become their natural environment.
We miss opportunity after opportunity to create the experience so many prospects are looking for. And guess what? We can do it without the help of Dear Old Otis. So without further ado, here are ten ways to create a positive customer experience that will guarantee they answer the phone when you follow up with them a few days after their visit.
1. We greet them gracefully. We don’t accost people while they’re standing in the foyer with the front door still open. We let them breathe and prepare themselves for the experience we want them to have. Let them plant themselves and take it all in.
2. Be warm. Always, always, ALWAYS meet people with a smile on your face. If your dog died that morning, either take a sick day or tap into your internal Meryl Streep but don’t meet anyone new with any facial expression other than a sincere smile.
3. Start the conversation. They think they know what you want: A Sale. Show them through meaningful conversation that yes; you would like to sell them a home but not for the selfish reason they think. Give a sincere compliment, make them laugh or even – GASP! – talk about the weather. We can’t all be Oscar Wilde.
“Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative.” ~Oscar Wilde
4. Be okay with silence. Silence is nothing more than a bridge from one point in time to another. Let them cross the bridge at their own pace. Otherwise, you are projecting your experience (I work here) onto their experience (could we live here?).
5. Feed them. Okay, sure, cookies are fine. And yes they smell good but buy them don’t bake them (see #7 below). However, when it’s ninety degrees out, the experience of melted chocolate loses its luster. I want to experience cool. Try giving me a Popsicle instead.
6. Learn a card trick. Hokey? Maybe. Memorable? Absolutely. Kids will especially love this, and they will remind their parents about you long after they visit Bob next door with his free appliance upgrade.
7. Make sure there are no bad smells (keep your leftovers out of the refrigerator!), make sure the home is clean and leave it at that. A model home should have a pleasant, mild smell. (PS. Watch the perfume, ladies!)
8. Stock your bathroom. Do not attempt to replicate the experience every woman who has ever lived has had when she realizes too late that there’s no toilet paper. Not only will she not buy from you, she will spend the rest of the day annoyed with every man she encounters. We’ll leave it at that.
9. Groom yourself. Yes, this could fall under #7, but we’re focusing on visual experience here. You don’t have to wear Armani suits but you should look professional and presentable. Guys, if you wouldn’t wear it to meet her dad, don’t wear it to the model. Ladies, if you leave the house tempted to mutter “it’s okay…there won’t be any traffic today,” turn around and change. There will be traffic and they will see you. You are a financial professional managing a multimillion-dollar portfolio. Look the part.
10. Show them you genuinely care. Ask them about themselves. Ask they how their day is going. Ask them about their home now. Just ask them. Getting them in the door is half the battle. They are there and have a need, or they wouldn’t be there at all. If they say they’re just interested in the window treatments, show them the window treatments!
At the end of the day, all anyone wants is to feel valued. Time and money are two of our scarcest resources, yet we ask people to give them to us every single day for a variety of reasons. Make their investment worthwhile and give them something in return. It may be a new home but it starts with a new experience.
What are ways you make your prospects feel comfortable and valued? What are you doing to create that memorable experience?