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Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Adding an Emotional Connection to Your Sales Office

There's a lot of details to take into consideration during the homebuying process: beds & baths, square footage, mortgage rates and a down payment. It's frequently your buyer's largest financial decision. Yet, there's an element of emotion to consider and kindle in every person's home shopping (and buying!) experience.

Imagine the conversations in front of this SalesTouch kiosk!
Jeff Shore notes in his book, Buying the Experience, that home buyers desperately long to be emotionally engaged with the home of their dreams.

Your mission: to maximize that engagement!

Your Sales Office is Often the Start of  the Journey

Emotions are part of our nature -- and it's worth considering, analyzing and evaluating how to add an emotional component into your marketing propositon as sales/leasing offices are frequently the first place visitors encounter the full range of your brand and product.

Storytelling Initiates Emotional Connections

Storytelling is one of the best content strategies for creating an emotional connection. Stories are tactile and create a visual picture. 

No doubt you've heard stories and imagined yourself within that context.  That's what makes a good story: it pulls listeners in and actually makes them a co-creator of the message. Stories make content more interesting and more memorable

Stories can also open up the discovery process to address the "why" your home shopper is in your sales office!

Incorporate Social Proof

We've mentioned, in previous Solutions Blogs, collaborative consumption when discussing today's consumers.  Home shoppers like company -- just like always: friends, relatives, work buddies. But, today, in many cases, they're "cloud" friends! These advisors are available through social media -- giving feedback, offering reviews, providing info as to sales and trends.

Your story needs to be part of this social cloud.  One of the easiest ways to provide social proof, if you aren't displaying social media on-site, is to incorporate testimonials

Get Interactive

Scroll back to the top -- emotion is tactile.  Take a look at Cornerstone Communities' interactive touchscreen kiosk: can you imagine the conversations when home shoppers walk into the sales office and see it? Wow! What a gorgeous view! I used to run but...I could get back into it with that path! 

Interactive touch presentations encourage emotional connections.  Did you know using touch generates entirely different (and more positive) brain activity than using a mouse? Take a look at Bob Musa's book, Creating Customers with Interactive Touch Screen Digital Signage, for more on the power of touch!

IBS Gives You the Opportunity to Touch!

CPS will be at IBS2019 the week of February 18th; we're in Booth SU631. Not going to be able to make it but interested in the power of touch as a sales tool? We can schedule an online demo here!

Saturday, January 26, 2019

Customer Service 2019: A New Paradigm for Builders

Customer Service is Now the Customer Experience

No doubt you've heard: business is moving faster than ever -- and the customer experience is becoming more of a top priority for all types of businesses.

But...what does that mean for you as a builder?

There seem to be 2 important components to today's customer service concept:
  1. Customer service is critical to competing effectively.  It's not all about price, in other words. Check Yelp or Google restaurant comments if that doesn't resonate. 
  2. The customer process has expanded to be the customer experience -- not just service after the sale.  That means every touch point from prior to the sale, during the sales process and post-sale. 

What Makes a Great Customer Experience?

How "convenient" is your sales center?
Shep Hyken just released The Convenience Revolution and is recognized for helping businesses deliver great customer experiences. Ideas include:
  1. A quick response time can help generate that remarkable WOW! moment you wish every customer experiences with your business.
  2. There are many ways to be convenient for your customer.  Think about your sales center, as an example: are the hours convenient to your buyer demographic? Is there seating? Is it comfortable? How available is your team to answer questions; address issues? After hours?
  3. Digital transformation is personalizing; too many think it is static.

Using Personalized Technology to Enhance the Customer Experience

You might be asking yourself: so....they're telling me that customer service needs to be quick, convenient and personal? How does that play out for a home builder?
  1. Provide convenience -- from the website to sales center to sales process, closing and post-sale. Innovative ways include: interactive kiosks to engage and inform your home shoppers as soon as they walk into the door. Use e-brochures; keep the paper weight down!
  2. Self-service is not only acceptable; it's expected. Your buyers want information -- and they want it now! Add web-based Portals to disseminate information about their home, your process and status updates. Self-service reduces friction -- providing the desired convenience, as well!
  3. Make your operation consistent and predictable.  Let home shoppers, buyers and homeowners know what to expect -- and deliver to that expectation. Home shoppers and buyers gets anxious about the unknown; letting people know what is happening is critical; use web Portals to deliver construction and customer service information that's already available in your organization. You're not doing more work; just making access more convenient!

Interested in Enhancing Your Customer Experience?

CPS will be at IBS2019 in Las Vegas the week of February 18; visit us at Booth SU631 -- or start your journey now! Or, use our contact form and we'll schedule a demo that fits your schedule.

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

What Can Builders Do to Up Their Productivity?

Productivity Issues Are Long-Standing and Complex

One of this year's "hot" topics has actually been a topic for a number of years -- in 2017, for example, MarketWatch noted, "the construction industry has a chronic productivity problem."

Use Technology to Manage the Details
The reasons are many and the impact is considerable on the global, national and local levels -- as well as individual homebuilder profitability.

Technology Offers Help at the Builder Level!

Rather than looking at the issue globally, however, let's focus on what you, as a homebuilder, construction manager or superintendent, can put your arms around to up your productivity -- which will improvide profitability.

First, however, we'll take note of a MarketWatch comment: there's been an underinvestment, in the construction industry, in technology.

Homebuilding is the Sum of Many, Many Details

Yet, there are relatively inexpensive and highly effective digital solutions that will have an immediate impact on your business -- as they'll help you organize, manage, evaluate and report on the many details surrounding every job.  For example, are you able to immediately answer these questions:

  • Which of my vendors consistently meets my objectives for starting and completing a job on time? How can they access that schedule? What about when things change?
  • Which vendor delivers work that meets my published standards and drawings? Do I have published standards? Are they readily accessible? How do vendors access the latest drawings?
  • How much rework did my plumbing vendor have to do at the Estates community?
  • Were all those homeowner roofing complaints related to this year's heavy rain, manufacturing issues or poor installation?
  • Are punch issues resolved prior to walkthrough? Do I have a way to keep track of the punch items from the walkthrough?
Generate and Track Your Punch Items
Technology for the desktop and mobile devices (software such as CPS' FieldCollaborate construction scheduling and WarrantyWatcher customer service management) will help you create and distribute schedules to your vendors and track performance so you're able to address some of those questions. Consistent, easily available, measurable schedules -- along with all of the supporting details such as standards, drawings and easy access -- are key to getting your arms around some of those details.

Portals, Dashboards, Reports: They're Available & Will Up Your Game!

Being able to analyze which vendors are effective, the reasons behind rework and how punch items are addressed enables your organization to make huge gains in productivity as you use data to make sure you're laser focused on key issues based on facts, not commentary.  Use on-screen dashboards or generate reports detailing past-due punch items, find out which happen over and over, utilize Quality Inspection checklists to catch problems at the task level before your walkthroughs.  That's how technology helps you manage the details!

IBS2019 Before & After!

CPS will be demonstrating these easy-to-use and powerful solutions at IBS2019 in Las Vegas from February 19-21 (you can grab free passes to the exhibit floor here):

Can't make it to Vegas or don't want to wait to up your productivity? Schedule a demo here and we'll be in touch asap!