What a great question to ask. Do you know the answer, and if not, who’s finding it out for you? And even more importantly, do you know what your customers need to achieve to be successful?
In lettings, what does your customers’ success look like? Is it a tenant who moves into a property matching their criteria and happily remains for the duration of their contract, or a landlord that repeatedly lets their property with you? Whatever it may be, the question to ask yourself is, "what makes your landlords and tenants successful and how can you help them achieve that success?" You want your customers to be with you for the long term, not just that initial short term tenancy - how can you achieve this and how do you continue to provide value to them?
Often as business owners and leaders, we naturally need to be focused on our company’s success and how we evolve and grow our business, adapting our products and services and acquiring new customers.
How do we provide the same levels of services (and amazing products and platforms) that organisations like Amazon, Apple and Netflix do? They’re in completely different markets and you could see them as being irrelevant to the lettings industry. But many of your own customers use them on a daily basis, and they now expect things to work and deliver as, when and where they need and want.
We’ve seen a shift in the last ten years to a focus on Customer Success and the consumerisation of business services, where our business customers’ expectations are driven by their personal experiences as consumers. This has been and continues to be a huge change and a very challenging one.
Our customers are now more willing and able to leave us if we don’t do what they need or provide the value they demand - and they expect this level of flexibility. Businesses now need to push value to customers, ensuring customers are continuously attracted to use them.
When our customers are successful, and they can directly see the value our products and services give them, they will naturally gravitate more to us, use more of our services, grow with us and become great advocates. It is extremely important to put the customer at the heart of your business more than ever.
At a recent CCO Summit Europe 2018, a quote that really resonated so well and summarised this up perfectly was “Make your product value painlessly obvious”.
How does Goodlord ensure Customer Success?
So what does a customer-centric culture look like? Here at Goodlord we’ve had Customer Success as a core part of our operating philosophy from day one. Our co-founder Tom Mundy was our original Head of Success and in the early days that meant looking after everything to do with our customers. As we’ve grown and expanded as a business, so has our Customer Success team and our approach, and of course our customer-base. We’ve moved from being mainly reactive and often seemingly on the backfoot, to having a full single customer view that covers everything from commercial information, support details, customer sentiment, survey feedback, product usage, contractual information, sales information and much more. This is a critical part of our success and it continues to grow, with the right technology and tools.
The team at Goodlord has also evolved significantly - and not just Customer Success. In Customer Success we’ve created dedicated functions for on-boarding, implementation, customer success management and customer operations, and all involve working very closely with the other teams at Goodlord. The team collectively helps to make sure that customer feedback is being fed through the right channels, listened to and responded to in the appropriate way.
How we measure Customer Success is critical to us, and there are a number of key metrics we can and do use for this, including Net Promoter Score (NPS). NPS is an easy-to-use measure to gauge customer loyalty and how it trends over time, and is used by many global businesses in multiple different industries. We use NPS at Goodlord and survey all of our customers on a quarterly basis, with that one ultimate question - how likely are you to recommend Goodlord? We use their feedback to improve our product and services, and ensure we continue the aspects that our customers love. We have seen many of our letting agent customers adopt a similar method of surveying customers with great success, gaining valuable feedback to improve their services.
The answer to the question "who's looking after your customers' success?" is you and everyone else in your company. Your customer facing team can help you better understand what your customers’ success looks like and but it is the responsibility of the entire business to help achieve that.
Customer Success is about good outcomes and good experience, and getting the mix right for individual customers based on their needs. If one of these isn’t right or isn’t working, you will not help your customers be successful.
As the customer voice becomes stronger, nothing is more important than your customers’ success.
Find out how Goodlord can help your agency provide additional value and exceed customer expectations with an easy to use, online lettings experience. Book a demo here.
Goodlord provides one single online platform to streamline the lettings process for agents, landlords and tenants. By digitising tenancy creation and progression, Goodlord cuts pointless, time-consuming administration for agents while transforming the tenant and landlord experience so its more in line with the expectations of Generation Rent.