Some insights into the financial benefits of retention & referral

The recession has tightened the supply of new customers, making your relationships with your current residents more important than ever.

MarketingProfs had a good guest column from Deborah Eastman, the chief marketing officer at Satmetrix, looking at a Forrester report on the economic benefit of a good customer experience. Focusing on retention and on referral can have a direct impact on the bottom line, Eastman shows.

What does it mean for apartment communities? More than any other industry, apartment communities have constant engagement with a resident’s customer experience: from leasing to residing to renewing. The way that each element of that experience is handled can have an impact on your business.

There are three big buckets of a resident’s experience: the Required, the Expected and the Unexpected. The Required experiences are focused around important transactions that make a resident’s life simple. These include a smooth experience while leasing and prompt service when problems with the physical plant or other residents arise. The Expected are simple quality of life issues. These are things like having the grounds maintained, the gates working, the hall lights lit. The Unexpected are moments of serendipity that arise from living in the community — interactions with a friendly property manager, making friends among the other residents, a nice Holiday party.

To assess your customer experience, you should put yourself in the shoes of someone dealing with your property and ask whether you are covering all three buckets.

This focus on customer experience is a big driver for the increased discussion with social media. The use of social media can help to drive leads, without question, but it is also can play a big part in extending and ensuring a good customer experience. Your residents and prospects are spending a lot of time on social media platforms talking with each other. Developing the tools and processes to get into that conversation can be a big benefit for any community.

In the end, regardless of the path you take, no community can evaluate how they are doing with their marketing program unless they dedicate a good part of their conversation to how they are focusing on and improving the customer experience.

The MarketingProfs article can be linked to below:

clipped from www.mpdailyfix.com

Guest Post: Recessional Loyalty — Strengthening Your Business Through Retention, Repurchase and Referral

There are three “R” words—retention, repurchase and referral—that can help your company survive and thrive during the “R” word that’s plaguing our economy, the recession.
Forrester’s new study, “Customer Experience Correlates to Loyalty,” emphasizes the importance of the three R’s. According to the study, which surveyed 4,500 U.S. consumers of 100 companies, consumers who have a good experience with a company are more willing to repurchase, less likely to switch to another company and will likely spread positive word-of-mouth.
The financial benefits associated with word-of-mouth referrals were impressive. Promoters in the wireless industry accounted for roughly one-half of new customer acquisitions, and had a worth of $1,700. On the other hand, Detractors can cost a carrier up to 1.28 percent of a new customer through negative word-of-mouth, creating a net loss of $300.