HomeServe has been keeping customer homes running smoothly on behalf of partners for 25 years. To mark this momentous occasion, we’ve pooled our collective knowledge and experience to come up with ‘25 ways you can be even more relevant in your customers’ homes’. We’d love to know what you think.
- Align around a customer promise
Businesses need a guiding force championing the customers’ cause. Think of it as a banner for teams to march behind and for customers to believe in. Products and services, people and behaviours, channels and communications should all be driven from and contribute to a clear customer promise.
- Nurture a customer-centric culture
To set the foundation for greater engagement, all elements of the business must place the customer’s needs at their very heart, with staff empowered and motivated to follow through.
- Get to know your customers
Embrace all forms of insight and research to help build a clear and detailed picture of customer motivations and concerns as well as identify hot buttons.
- Get to know your competition
Know who you’re up against, both within the category and outside. Analyse their strengths, weaknesses and how they are perceived in order to achieve competitive advantage.
- Keep an eye on the horizon
Don’t just concentrate on what’s happening today; stay on top of emerging trends and disruptive innovations that can enrich your relationship with customers.
- Don’t be afraid to innovate
Expand your reach into customers’ lives by enriching and extending propositions that go beyond the core but stay relevant.
- Establish valued propositions
Ensure customers perceive features and benefits as valuable and rewarding, and keep pricing in line with expectation. Value doesn’t necessarily mean cheap.
- Don’t treat all customers equally
The more you understand the differences between customer types and segments, the more you can create solutions that are relevant, compelling and engaging.
- Get the whole picture
See the customer experience holistically by having a clear map of the end to end customer journey. Grasp the opportunity to build a stronger customer connection at every touch point.
- Go the extra mile, plus one
Be on the lookout for ways to surprise and delight customers. Make sure every experience with the brand is rich and fulfilling.
- Be consistent
Establish processes, checks and balances that ensure you offer a consistently high standard of delivery. Don’t overlook the details. It’s the small things that often let you down.
- Focus on the sharp end
Pay special attention to the areas where staff and customers meet, such as the contact centre and the customer home when the engineers visit. These moments shine a light on the brand and are critical to deliver the customer promise. Equip and support those at the sharp end so they can shine and feel comfortable suggesting improvements.
- Leverage technology to reduce customer effort
Customers have busy lives. Use technologies such as apps to make their interactions with you as effortless and rewarding as possible.
- Tune in to the right channels
Constantly re-evaluate how customers want to engage with you and ensure you optimise your effectiveness in those channels. Make sure you challenge your performance in those channels with a rigorous test programme.
- Lead customers along the way
Create a journey for customers marked with product opportunities along the way. Ensure offers are timely and relevant, and include cross-sells that address customer needs at key moments in their lives.
- Demonstrate the value
Remind customers regularly of the value of the home related propositions they’re receiving. Keep them informed of tangible benefits and present opportunities to engage them further.
- Give customers a voice
Let customers become ambassadors for your brand and listen carefully when they suggest ways to improve. Put customer reviews front and centre and establish feedback loops. How you listen and respond to customers will set you apart from the competition.
- Be interesting
Frequent communication is not an intrusion as long as it’s interesting, relevant and useful. Welcome communications can help keep you on your customer’s mind. When it comes to brands associated with the home, craft your message with a strong personality and human touch.
- Be an expert
Establish yourself as an expert in home services with hints and tips, help and advice that go beyond the products and services you provide. Spread the love by making this knowledge available to customers and non-customers alike.
- Make a connection
Invest in a brand and product portfolio customers can connect with because it addresses their needs around the home meaningfully. Customers should feel their values align with those of your brand. This won’t happen by accident. It requires careful positioning and constant support.
- Be virtuous
Support the community that supports you by operating ethically and sustainably and be there for customers who need a little more help or are in a vulnerable position. It’s the right thing to do… even when no one is looking.
- Keep track of KPIs
Ever heard the expression: ‘What gets measured gets done’? Stay on top of key customer engagement indicators as a yard stick for success. Ensure they’re visible across the business to allow you to celebrate successes and quickly address shortfalls.
- Reward good behaviour
Offer both staff and customers incentives and rewards that are in tune with customer engagement strategic objectives. Encourage both rational and emotional motivation for staff to deliver the customer promise.
- Keep improving
There’s something to be said for being in a perpetual state of test and learn that allows you to refine customer offerings. Carve out time to step back from the day-to-day and regularly review the strategic direction and delivery against the customer promise.
- Work with HomeServe!
After all, for the past 25 years, we’ve been cementing customer relationships on behalf of our partners with valuable home services propositions.
The Millennial generation, as more reluctant DIY-ers, present an opportunity as an audience for home services.
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With a complex, heavily regulated environment and aggressive green agenda, the outlook for Utilities in Australia presents challenges but also great opportunities for those wishing to extend their relevance in customers’ homes.