At Movebubble, we ❤️ renters.
Our entire office, our weekly schedule and the best-practices we follow are all focused on making things better for the renters.
Let’s put it this way: renters are our first thought in the morning and last thought at night… sometimes we actually dream of them, especially if there’s a bug in the app and we can’t sleep until it’s been fixed 👾 (Go Devs!)
In this article, we’d like to share with you some of the ways we stay focussed on being a renter-first company, and some suggestions on how you could use these tools to improve your business... and become a champion of your customers!Ready? Let’s go!
Step 1: Answer to all customer service queries
Every morning, the first thing we do is check out any questions we have from our renters and agents. We follow a few important rules:
To answer a customer, we always reply via the same channel that the customer has used to get in touch. It might seem obvious, but think about it... if you sent a text to your friend, you wouldn't expect them to reply to you on email!! Asking your customers to swap channel to communicate with you increases the risk of losing them 😒
We set goals for our average response time, and we make sure to answer all queries within 3 hours! We chat to both renters and agents using a tool called Intercom. It's really helpful, as it keeps track of our response time and it creates a little - healthy - competition in our team to be the best 🙌🏻
We receive loads of customer service queries every day, and we need to respond the most urgent ones first. If a renter is experiencing a bug in the app, that has to be our top priority, whilst if someone is asking for a suggestion of an area in London, we can hold on that question until we've handled the bugs.
We answer all questions individually, calling our renters and agents by their name and tailoring the answer to their specific needs. This is crucial to building trust, and a valuable conversation that genuinely helps the renter! If you chat to us, a human will get back to you 🤖 not a bot! We do have some saved replies to make sure our replies are consistent, but we customise these if they don't exactly answer the question.
Be Friendly 😀
Don't forget, you're talking to a real human too! Maybe they're not having a great day, maybe they're stressed, so why not be the one to cheer them up?! You might have seen some of our fun competitions to win ice cream for your office, or maybe you've received a gif from us... we love to make our customers smile, because that's what helps us stand out from the rest and give a truly memorable experience.
Our tips 💡
When responding to your customers, reply on the same channel that request was sent from. Be ambitious with your response time goals and reward team members who beat the record ⏱ Also, make sure to prioritise the most important things to be answered first. Last but not least, don’t send impersonal answers that simply link to articles or pages on your website, but use your imagination and build high quality, friendly relationships with your renters! This will help your brand reputation, too.
Step 2: Create useful content based on common questions
Our blog for renters has 3 separate sections. “Renting advice”, “Living in London” and “Area Guides”. They are all built around the renters' needs and the most common questions that they’ve asked in the past, and continue to need help with.
What do your customers need to learn about? How can you reduce the knowledge gap between you and your customer and achieve higher transparency in your relationship? A good strategy could be identifying the most frequent questions, and come up with a content plan for your website or blog. This way, you’ll always provide interesting content for your readers and they’ll be more likely to share it 🤩
Many renters aren't sure where they should look for their new home, and where they can get the best place for their budget. As a result, we receive loads of queries about the most affordable areas in London. That’s why we created our own rental report, including the latest data about the average prices in different areas of the capital, so that renters can make better decisions on where to search.
How many people are asking you about council tax every day? How many don’t have a clue about the fees that they’ll need to pay? Well, why not create some engaging content around it and share it!
Our tips 💡
Listen to your customers and give them what they ask for. This is the true spirit of a customer-first brand! Use your creativity so that your content will stand out and be special, for example, have you ever considered starting v-logging? 🎬
Step 3: Prioritise customers’ feedback and implement it ✨
Movebubble is built for the renters... by the renters. To decide what to build next, we collect all our renter's feedback and use it as a way of up-voting features. For example, the most voted-for feature on our list is linking accounts and sharing favourite property lists. We have a growing number of renters searching in groups or with a couple of friends.
You can use your customers’ comments to understand how to improve and streamline your processes. We know you're not building features in the same way we are, but things like referencing, sending out contracts, taking payments... what sport of feedback do you get on these? Are renters always telling you that it was a nightmare to understand how much the need to pay? You can explore this problem and work out the way to solve it, to make sure it's as easy as possible for renters. It doesn't just benefit them either, it will save you guys time and increase referrals and positive reviews! You need to stay ahead of technological innovations to really take advantage. Asking questions such as "which was the trickiest thing when renting your new home?" or "if you had a magic wand, which part of the renting process would you cut out?" will help you get some great insight into the renter's experience with the process.
We recently collaborated with the team at Paramount Properties, one of our most customer-centric partners. Watch the video below to hear about their focus and what is important to the success of their business...
Our tips 💡
Collect feedback, send out surveys and allow your properties to be discovered everywhere! Identify the most common sticking points for your customers, and get it sorted!
Step 4: Constantly remind your team why your business exists
Every Friday, we wrap up the week with a session we call “How I helped a renter”. Basically, we all sit around our kitchen table with a drink (or two!) and in turn we tell a story about how we helped a renter or agent that week 🎉
To get ready for this session, we need to think about the most important thing we've done to help a customer: it can be a bug that has been fixed, a customer service question answered, going the extra mile to solve a problem, or building a new feature that makes renting even better!
This kind of meeting is super helpful (and fun!) for us at Movebubble. It keeps us focussed on our mission and reminds us on a weekly basis why Movebubble exists. To help you get back in touch with your business mission, and to re-engage your team, check out this book: "Start with Why" by Simon Sinek.
This session helps the newest team members understand what Movebubble is all about, and ultimately guide them in their day-to-day decision making. Your team make hundreds of small decisions on a daily basis, which ultimately contribute to the success, or failure, of your business. Make sure they live and breathe the company mission, so they make the right decisions, with the future of the business in mind.
Set up a regular catch up with the team to keep everyone on board and excited about the mission. Make it fun! Reward people who go the extra mile. Shout about your successes!
Step 5: Learn more about your audience
So you know your audience is made up of renters, that's enough right? Not really! Are your renters young? Old? Single? In a relationship? Moving from abroad? Lived in London for 15 years? It sounds crazy, but digging into the detail about your audience can really help you to connect with them on a much deeper level. Sure, you want your advertising to look professional and smart, but what if most of your audience are young hipsters? You'll never know if you don't check it out, and it's super easy to do.
Go through the last 50 to 100 renters who enquired with you, or better still, the ones who rented their new home with you. Check out who they were moving with, get a rough idea of their age, and the sorts of properties they were looking at. It depends on the information you collect, but try to put together some interesting themes. Can you see any trends? Who is your biggest customer segment?
Once equipped with this information, you can start to really tailor your marketing messages and brand communications, to find those renters who will love the properties you have!
Knowing who makes up your audience can really help you refine your communications. It's important to focus on exactly who you're talking to and understand their needs in detail so you can help them as best as you can.
What's your strategy to build a customer-first business? Comment below to let us know!