When it comes to sales and marketing, there are lots of buzzwords that fly around. ‘Buyer journey’ is one such phrase, often causing confusion and an element of teeth grinding among non-salesy types.
And while we’re as unimpressed by corporate jargon as the next business, we can’t help but think the idea behind this concept is sound, even if the phrase is perhaps a little unpalatable.
What do we mean by buyer journey?
Understanding your buyer journey is simply about looking at your full sales and enquiry process from your customer’s point of view. It’s about taking note of all the stages a buyer goes through, from their very first point of contact with you, to the completion of their purchase and beyond into your aftercare process. Get this right, remain consistent with all of your dealings and add value wherever you can, and your customers will be praising your service and, even better, recommending you to friends.
How does this work in practice?
You’d more than likely treat a prospective buyer who’s only just making their first enquiry differently to someone who you believe may be about to put in an offer on their forever home. Of course, you’d be polite, professional and helpful to both, but you might be more inclined to invest time and emotional energy into your relationship with the latter. Let’s face it, there’s a much higher chance you’ll get a sale out of it.
That’s not to say you’ll ignore the initial enquirer, but you’ll almost certainly offer them different things and provide different information. Because they’re at a very different stage in the process. This serves to demonstrate the power of segmentation – keeping track of leads or prospective buyers and serving them up relevant content, offers or information to suit their needs.
And why is this useful?
If you understand which stage purchasers are at, i.e. you can establish whether they are hot prospects or simply browsers, you can more easily prioritise your time and position your valuable resources wisely.
And you can even take things a step further by creating buyer personas for each stage of the journey. Establish whether at each point your customer will be browsing, enquiring, viewing or buying and try to learn a little more about how they might be feeling and the kind of help you could provide to ensure you make a great impression.
And you can tie this in with your marketing activities too, by creating and sharing content that helps to push prospective purchasers to the next stage. If a new customer is just browsing, trying to decide on a location to begin their search, share Kyero’s location guides with them to help them work things out. Or, if they’re unsure about whether the whole expat thing is right for them, point them in the direction of our podcast series so they can listen to the stories of numerous others who have successfully done this before.
But what about at the end of the process, when the purchase has gone through? Keep being useful, send information about tax affairs they’ll need to think about, how to buy a car, or even local restaurants and events. All of this adds up to a thoughtful service that feels highly personal to the customer who receives it.
Go the extra mile and people will remember you; more importantly they will talk about you to others.
But how can you keep track of it all?
We can’t stress enough the importance of investing in a good database or CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system. That way you can enter the details of prospective clients as soon as they come onto your radar, track useful information about them, and even set up workflows that will kick in when buyers reach a certain stage of their journey.
These could be as simple as which questions to ask to capture information when a prospective buyer first asks about a property – useful for you to then interrogate your property portfolio for other potential gems. Or it could be an email workflow that makes sure nothing is left out or forgotten when it comes to arranging contracts and completing all the necessary paperwork for a purchase.
By spending time understanding what each type of customer wants from you at each stage of the process, you’ll be able to set up an efficient system that makes sure none of your prospects get forgotten or neglected.
Yes, it can be time consuming when it comes to setting up systems and processes, but keep things simple to start with, gradually add more functionality, and keep an eye on the small ‘wins’ as you go. You’ll soon find those little things make a massive difference, helping your operations to run more effectively and ensuring you understand more about your customers’ changing needs. So you can help them find their dream home in the sun through you and not through another agent!