A positive customer experience (CX) is critical to competing effectively in today’s business environment, and technology can be crucial for home builders looking to make that successful CX connection. From self-service shopping prior to a sale to information centers and sales and leasing offices, there has been a continued expansion of digital technologies to assist home builders’ sales and marketing efforts. Tech tools are even being used as a conversation board to advance corporate messaging and connect with consumers at conferences, in office lobbies and elsewhere.
Improving CX means putting the customer at the center of the home buying experience. That’s what the right technology tools can do—shift a potentially stressful process to something personal and engaging. For example, the Social Media Wall incorporates lifestyle content into digital signage, which creates enthusiasm and builds a deeper relationship with home shoppers. The interactive marketing tool enables builders to utilize current marketing materials in a unique, visual fashion, as well as encourage consumer participation.
This type of digital display marketing also allows builders to stand out from the competition. They can add value to customers through “digital storytelling” and amplifying visuals. Interactive tools can greet prospective buyers, provide information, answer questions and reinforce branding. Visual content sparks imagination, spurring consumers to create their own narrative around the home builder’s brand.
To elevate the CX and marketing dynamics at Wendell Falls, a master-planned community in Raleigh, N.C., a Social Media Wall was installed in the builder’s information center. Traditional marketing copy, lifestyle photos and social media images, curated based on the community-specific hashtag #WendellFalls, rotated around the wall-mounted 20-panel high-resolution digital display, engaging home shoppers and owners with the community’s lifestyle and messaging.
This integration of both traditional marketing and consumer-generated lifestyle content gives home builders great versatility, including providing a new marketing channel and a way to leverage social media. A builder can show any message it wants, whether generated by the company or consumer. The tool furthers community interest and fuses online and on-site marketing channels.
For builders to improve the CX and boost their marketing impact they need to convey their message to customers in a well-organized, strategic, resourceful, and thoughtful way. Interaction, sharing and participation will always increase interest and engagement over static sales center signage and brochures. With the interactive capability of a digital display wall, the customer isn’t the same old consumer of goods. He or she feels the unique two-way sense of participation, which is both more appealing and more helpful in strengthening the relationship between customer and builder.
Marketing is about getting more eyes on your product. The more there are, the merrier the people will be who are in charge of the bottom line. Delivery and receipt of company messaging is the goal. When home shoppers see part of themselves in the home builder’s messaging, they are sure to stop and take notice.
When customers receive a more enriched experience, it stays with them. Home shoppers that are involved in the conversation are more likely to be excited about the home builder’s brand and the lifestyle that it projects. They form positive feelings about a community through the experience of others and are encouraged to share their own experiences. Remember the old sales maxim--you’re selling an experience, not a product. It logically follows then that emotional connections, the stuff of experiences, motivate the home buying decisions.
That participation, the placement of oneself in the experience through interactive technology, helps people envision how they would live in their home/community and interact with neighbors. There’s also the third-party validation aspect of the buying process. What do people usually do when choosing a new doctor, auto mechanic or other key service provider? They ask their friends for recommendations. Trust begins and ends the referral process. The same goes for home buying, of course. The most convincing advertising of all is seeing your own friends buying and using the product, which becomes reality with digital signage.
If customer experience isn’t important, why do companies place so much emphasis on Yelp and Google reviews? According to Forbes,70% of consumers value peer reviews and recommendations over professionally written marketing content. And why has there been a 250% increase in CX designers in the past five years? Companies, including home builders, achieve true marketing success when their work inspires numerous (unpaid) brand ambassadors to spread the word of the quality experiences they create and the considerable value they provide. With interactive marketing tools and digital signage, home builders grease the sales funnel and attract buyer targets through an enriched customer experience.
To see the Social Media Wall in action during the International Builders' Show, Feb. 19–21 in Las Vegas, visit the BUILDER KB Home ProjeKt in Henderson, Nevada or at CPS’ booth (SU631). Post a photo with the hashtag #WhereTomorrowLives and look for your image to appear as part of the curated content on the Wall.