The home buying process is a stressful one. And until you get the survey result through (hopefully with the answer you want), the survey process can be unsettling for some. It’s like waiting for those school test results. We live in a fast-paced world where information is available whenever we want it. We have become so used to instant-gratification in everyday life from delivery updates to likes on social media etc.
The flip side of this is that when we can’t get what we feel are simple updates at ease, we get frustrated. Receiving updates to any process leaves us feeling much better. And the more proactive they are, the less we feel the need to chase for responses because we know the minute an update is available we will get it.
Delays to Survey Updates
Survey updates are easy to send. You book in a survey, you update the customer with the inspection date. You turn up and do the inspection, you drop the customer a quick email to confirm you’ve been to the property and let them know the date you expect to have their report to them. Of course, all of this is easily said. But when you are experiencing high volumes of work, you are rushing to appointments and calls keep coming in, writing that email just doesn’t get done. But your customer is still wondering in the back of their mind if you’ve definitely booked the survey in or that you made it to the inspection.
One is to work a bit longer that day to make sure you get all your updates out. That isn’t a long-term solution and this leaves you firefighting every time you are busy. It also means something inevitably gets delayed that day.
The second is to automate some of your systems so you can just click a button to update a survey status and let the email go out automatically. Those admin tasks can be made a bit quicker and your customer can still get their updates.
Does it have a big impact on the customer experience?
90% of consumers expect an online portal for customer service and 68% of consumers say it increases their perception of a brand when companies send them proactive customer service notifications (Microsoft).
It might seem like a small detail during busy times. But it can make a huge difference to how your customer is feeling as they go through the survey process. It’s those little updates that keeps their mind at rest and make it that much easier to secure 5* star feedback every time.
The final factor – consistency. Automating processes and providing an account to follow progress allows you to provide a consistent service to every customer, every time. Fewer customers falling through the gaps on those busy days or where you’re engrossed in a survey report and forget to make that update.
Does it make my life easier?
Yes – it benefits both sides. Where your customer can log into an account at any time, they can answer their own questions. When was the inspection booked for? Did you definitely make it? When am I meant to be getting my report? All of these questions can be answered without the need to drop you a chase email or call. Fewer chasing customers to deal with means you can keep focused on what you need to be doing.
Isn’t automation impersonal?
Not at all. It’s proactive. It’s providing the information to your customer in a timely manner and with ease. A customer needs to speak to you when they want to learn more about your service or when they’ve received your report. Sending an automated email then would be impersonal and poor service. But customer’s don’t need you to personally write an email or call them to tell them when you’ve booked the inspection for. They just want to know when it is. All they care about is the information, not the method of delivery.
If you send out information at each stage by personalising a template, you’re half way to automation anyway. The only difference is that you are taking time out of your day to send something instead of leaving a system to do the same job for you.
It’s the little details that matter to any customer. That’s what gets them recommending a service to friends and family. And it’s the small tasks that keep throwing you off the task you’re meant to be doing and eating up your time. If you want your customers to be impressed by how responsive you are and how consistent your survey is, look at how you can automate your processes.