"Community" is the buzzword of the coliving industry, isn't it? It makes sense. Without a strong community after all, the likelihood of success as a coliving brand is slim. But, as a coliving consultant, I've noticed a curious thing over the years. When people talk about "community-building strategies," they're often only referring to the period of time when members are actually living together.
Of course, communities are strengthened during gatherings and on-site experiences, but the truth is, the community/customer experience starts long before arrival. If you want to start building a strong community, you need to build a sense of connection and trust at the very first touchpoint.
If you are a coliving operator or brand, having a solid customer experience strategy in place can set the stage for incredible connection opportunities...and of course, an incredible amount of sales.
So, what is a customer experience audit?
A customer experience audit is an assessment of your customer's interactions with your brand. Through a CX audit, you can take a look at each touchpoint of the customer journey and easily find the holes in your customer experience.
A successful CX audit is a valuable tool that can help your coliving brand to:
- Boost overall sales
- Increase retention rates
- Enhance overall community happiness
- Identify customer pain points
- Increase brand loyalty
- Reduce customer acquisition costs
Investing in a CX audit is a great way to kick off 2023 and get your experience on track. So, where do you begin?
How to Start A Customer Experience Audit
Step 1: Identify Your Customer Touchpoints:
To begin conducting your customer experience audit, write out all of the touchpoints in your coliving customer journey - from the time a person first hears about your space to the time they leave. Some examples of touchpoints within your customer journey might be:
Discovery: Seeing a social media post. Viewing your website. Reading a promotional e-mail.
Consideration: Seeing photos of your space. Sending a first inquiry e-mail.
Onboarding: Receiving the move-in details. Being welcomed into the space.
Integration: Being introduced to the team. Being introduced to the housemates.
Living Experience: Attending the first gathering. Submitting a maintenance request.
Offboarding: Receiving information about moving out. Receiving a referral code.
These are just a few examples of touchpoints within each stage of the customer journey. Take some time to get very clear on your specific customer journey, along with every single interaction point a customer might have.
Step 2: Become a Secret Shopper
And, by that I mean, test out the customer experience for yourself. Go through the entire experience from beginning to end, and experience it like a user. Are there any holes in the sales funnel? Do you receive information consistently, and in a timely manner? Are there any questions that go unanswered?
This is especially helpful in the Discovery and Onboarding phases, but can be utilized across the board. After going through the journey yourself, have additional friends or colleagues to do the same. It sounds simple, but the amount of insight you'll receive from this process is profound. Even the smallest change can make a massive difference in increasing sales.
Step 3: Conduct Customer Interviews
Conducting customer interviews can be a time-consuming process, but well worth the effort. Each stage of the customer journey will have it's own set of questions, but here are some example questions for the Discovery Phase:
How easy or difficult was it to book our space? Were you able to complete the process in a timely manner? How would you improve the booking process?
If you have a sales team, you can schedule interviews with them as well. Questions you can ask your sales team:
What questions are you getting asked over and over again? What complaints are you hearing most often? What would you do to improve the process.
Step 4: Consider CX Enhancements
Discovering the flaws in the process is only half the battle. Next, you'll need to come up with a plan to fix them. It's easy to get overwhelmed with everything that needs to be done, so choose your battles wisely.
Start with asking yourself, "What is the overall theme of the issues uncovered?" Often, it comes down to either clarity or consistency.
If the issue is clarity, think about ways that you can reword your messaging, create better communication templates or update your marketing assets. If the issue is consistency, think about how you can automate and streamline your processes.
Building a solid customer experience strategy is an ongoing process, and one that you should revisit every single year. But, getting clear on where you and where you want to go is a great way to start off the first quarter of 2023.
Customer Experience Audits take time, and are often most effectively conducted by a person outside of your organization. If you're interested in working together to conduct a Customer Experience Audit for your coliving space, book a New Client Consultation here: Book Now