Using CRM to Build Homebuilder Customer Loyalty
At first glance, it might seem a bit strange to read about brand loyalty in the home building industry.
|On-site Social Media Walls encourage social interaction|
You might ask: don’t folks buy one home at a time? And, don’t most hope to live in their current home for years? Once they decide to move, does it even make sense to suggest buying a new home from the same builder?
While there might be some truth in each of the statements above, there’s also a considerable amount of weight behind having homeowners blog, Tweet and post about their new home purchase, refer a friend and, yes, actually have their current builder be “top of mind” when considering a new home in the future.
Acquiring new customers is good, but it’s just the beginning. Businesses only win big, Jai Rawal posits in his recent 6 Ways to Builder Customer Loyalty at Every Touch Point article, when customers can be nurtured into loyal customers. Rawal goes on to suggest that providing a satisfying emotional experience helps create loyalty.
After all, it’s estimated to cost 6-7 times more to acquire new customers than to nurture a current one into an ongoing relationship!
|Schedule events, use CPS CRM to invite & remind|
How to engage home buyers at every touch point? While there are ideas that might not resonate too well with home builders such as adding a points-based loyalty program (think your local market, airlines and hotels), it is possible to kick-up your CRM system a notch and start taking advantage of his other suggestions — and consider adding complimentary touch points to maximize your impact:
- Engage your prospects and buyers via social channels. We’ve talked about CPS’ Social Media Wall — an easy-to-implement tool capturing and displaying social media content in sales and information centers.
- Encourage current buyers to become brand ambassadors through referrals. Nielson reports that family and friends are the most persuasive influence on buying decisions. Use social media and a referral program so your customers can easily and confidently promote your communities. Send letters and/or emails reminding homeowners about your referral program — frequently. Most people won’t remember it exists after 1 month.
- Use email marketing to keep in touch with homeowners. Here’s where CRM shines as you can create pre-set pieces, schedule their delivery and dial-in recipients (only those buyers in the last 6 months, everyone with a pool, all Plan 2 homeowners, etc.). Send a referral program reminder, invite homeowners to a summer BBQ at the sales center, offer a coupon to the new pizza place…all focused on engaging and reconnecting with your homeowners.
- Delight Your Homeowners on Special Occasions. It doesn’t have to be overly exciting — a simple thank you on the anniversary of their closing or birthday wishes. A recent Fulcrum study found that 75% of customers receiving a birthday message from a company thought more highly of the company. Again, CRM excels at this type of automated — yet personalized –messaging.