John Galante of AE Venture facilitates an exciting conversation about the benefits of feedback platforms and their ability to understand client needs and create a better customer experience. Presenters include Kristi Allen, Owner of WoodCastle Homes, Chris Hartley, Vice President of Sales at K. Hovnanian Homes, and Melissa Mormon, who is Chief Experience Officer at BDX.
Chris talks about his experience of using an SMS text message platform (AtlasRTX) which allows his company to receive immediate responses from consumers. “This isn’t just technology, this is humans behind technology,” he says and explains how the platform can be set up at any point of the sales process: marketing, sales, build, and post contract. “The key component of this is that 98.2% of us check a text message within two minutes of receiving it … most of us are within two feet of our cell phones over 80% of the time,” Chris says. He talks about the benefits of receiving constant feedback throughout the process and how that can help homebuilders address issues on the spot.
Kristi shares how she uses technology to engage buyers by posting photos about their homes. Her company creates custom homeowner web pages that contain construction updates sent through email and text. This creates a great personal experience for customers, who share their story with friends, which generates engagement and additional referrals. “Buyers would tell their friends and family about the process and most importantly they would send them to our website,” she says and explains how shared social media posts can increase referrals. “Honestly, other industries have been doing it for more than 10 years and we are still behind,” Kristi says. “We have to find better ways for our buyers to share their experience, let’s work together,” she adds.
Melissa focuses her presentation on the value of online reviews and user-generated content, and their role in making most of our decisions. “Just think about your own life, if you go on Amazon to buy a toaster you go and look at the reviews, if you go to buy a pizza, you look at the reviews,” she says to emphasize public reliance on online reviews. Melissa goes over the reasons why companies receive negative reviews and lists ways in which homebuilders can take control of their brand by being personal and showing empathy when responding to a bad review. “The customer is always right in the eyes of reviews,” she says.
The group ends their discussion by answering questions from the audience and sharing best practices when it comes to addressing feedback.