The Customer Experience & Your Bottom Line
When talking about our “dream customer” in property management, I suspect many think of someone with a steady income, who pays their rent on time, is understanding and calm, and a total neat-freak. These are, of course, all positive attributes- but when I think of my “dream customer”? It’s simply the one we already have.
Our job onsite is to create customers for life: to go above and beyond in such a way that our residents call our community home for years to come. When we can tap into our existing customer base by providing an exceptional experience on a consistent basis, the returns are off the charts.
Happy customers market for you
We all understand the significance of an unhappy resident in today’s world, with review sites readily accessible and waiting to hear from the passionately displeased. Negative interactions with a business are spread to twice as many people as positive ones. Therefore, investing in keeping your current customer happy is endlessly valuable.
Founder and CEO of Zappos, Tony Hsieh, prioritizes his customer-service-based company this way: “We take most of the money that we could have spent on paid advertising and instead put it back into the customer experience. Then we let the customers be our marketing. Historically, our number-one growth driver has been from repeat customers and word of mouth.”
Offering a great customer experience on an on-going basis is the cheapest, easiest, most effective way to bolster your retention, boost your reputation, and bank on customer satisfaction. If 77% of customers would recommend a brand to a friend after having a single positive experience, imagine the power in offering continually exceptional experiences.
Happy customers are willing to pay more
It seems counter-intuitive that happy customers are the ones paying more, but it’s true. U.S. consumers are willing to spend 17% more to do business with companies that deliver excellent service. So how can we tap into that profit potential? Keeping our customers happy is the cheapest, easiest way to add value to our communities.
Before we upgrade units, before we revamp amenities, before we replace the old monument sign- we should be investing in the customer experience. They’ll pay more and be happier for it.
Reducing customer turnover saves you money
Did you know it’s anywhere from 5 to 25 times more expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to keep a current one? With the literal expense of turning the apartment after move out, the administrative costs and burden of processing the move out (then, the new move in), and the immeasurable cost of what may have been a negative experience and it’s affect upon your reputation- you really can’t afford not to take a look at turnover.
On the flip side, studies show that increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can increase profits by between 25% and 95%. I don’t know about you, but I’d sign up for a 95% profit increase any day. The return here is unbelievable.
Happiness is contagious
Finally, happiness is contagious. I know, I know- that’s probably not high up on your priority list, but hear me out. Not only are happy customers likely to share positive experiences with others (11 people, on average- to be exact), a positive customer experience is cyclical because happier residents are easier and more pleasant to deal with for our office team members than unhappy ones. That’s right- when we work hard to keep the customer happy, not only can we expect a better reputation, a boost in price, and savings in turnover, we are happier in return. Happy customers make for happier teams. And as an owner?
Happy residents + great reputation + higher profits + turnover savings + happy teams = HAPPY OWNERS.
It’s a win-win-win.
When talking strategy- you really can’t afford not to invest into the customer experience.