What do the pick ‘n’ mix lolly section at the local milk bar, technology, conferences and real estate agencies have in common?
The answer should be nothing, but generally that’s not the case.
Over the past 10 years, many real estate agents have mistaken the technology aisle’ of the conference they are attending for the lolly pick ‘n’ mix.
They walk the expo with an open bag, filling it with every piece of technology available.
It culminates in a bag of mixed technology.
Instead of a bag of pineapples, milk bottles, raspberries, strawberry creams and freckles, they have CRMs, apps, devices, automation and a range of other tech items.
Over the proceeding months and years, pieces of technology get stacked one on top of the other as something new arrives, until there is a mound of technology so high that it hampers our business, our service, and our bottom line.
How do we ensure the technology we have streamlines our business and increases efficiencies while maintaining a level of service our customers have come to expect?
With a mission to reverse the trend of technology first, service and process second, it’s time to review your technology stack.
If you’d like to uncover whether your technology is serving you and your clients well or if it’s creating a cumbersome, impersonal and inefficient experience, I have a few rules to help you.
RULE 1: NOT EVERY PIECE OF TECHNOLOGY IS APPROPRIATE FOR EVERY BUSINESS
While it’s important to keep up-to-date with emerging trends, technology should enhance, rather than detract from the customer experience.
Sometimes this means you don’t get the new gadget, or the fun tech toy in the office has to go.
RULE 2: TECHNOLOGY SUPPORTS YOUR SERVICE; IT’S NOT YOUR SERVICE
Unless you are a technology service, you are more likely using technology to support what you offer your clients.
To identify what technology is most suitable, you must first understand the journey your customer takes now and what they desire in the future.
Mapping your customer journey need not be a complicated process.
It could be as simple as post-it notes on the wall, with a note for each step of the service process.
RULE 3: SELECT THE RIGHT TECHNOLOGY FOR EVERYONE
As you identify each step of the customer journey, consider the perspective and experience of the client, customer, team member and business.
Ask if this is working for everyone.
What technological support would the stakeholders benefit from?
Try not to think in terms of specific programs by name, but by the concept.
Then you can find the technology that best suits.
RULE 4: THE CLIENT KNOWS TECH IS INVOLVED, JUST DON’T RUB IT IN
It’s no secret that a large element of our lives are powered by tech, but we still like to think it’s not.
We like to believe there is a human behind many services we utilise.
In the main, real estate consumers are still looking for traditional customer service, and they want the human touch.
So be careful where you put your tech.
Tech that supports your team to serve your clients is different from tech that replaces your client-facing team.
Review automation regularly, update language in communication, road test the entire experience from the angle of every user, and consider their expectations and experience, not just the business efficiencies.
Sometimes there is technology that provides obvious business improvements, but the end consumer experience doesn’t meet their expectations and makes it unsuitable.