Building the journey

Creating timelines and practical systems and procedures around touch points will help everyone see the journey

Topic – Improving the customer journey

Mentor – Alastair Lias

  • What are the touch points
  • How to develop them
  • What they mean

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Kevin:   As we’ve seen in the past, as an industry, the real estate industry is open to so much disruption. Which is something we’ve created ourselves because we haven’t really understood fully nor embraced the need for us to build relationships. This is a very, can be a very transactional business, buying and selling houses. But when you think about it, when someone buys or sells a property, it’s probably one of the biggest transactions they’ll ever do in their life and many people only do it once or twice. For you and I as real estate agents, it just becomes the norm.

Kevin:   I want to focus on this week in our conversations with Alistair Lias, from Alistair it’s a great topic and I think it’s one that we have actually acknowledged, but we’ve played a lot of lip service to it. That is the need to have a really strong robust understanding about this customer journey. Good morning and welcome to the show. That was a very big introduction, but it’s such an important topic Alistair.

Alastair:   Yes it is Kevin, thanks very much for having me back again. It is obviously something I’m very passionate about and feel that it’s hugely under-rated and I believe that offices that do embrace the idea of the customer journey and understand how to implement it are going to benefit very greatly and really help to future proof their business into the future.

Kevin:   Well, we have already discussed touch points, what they really mean. Let’s talk about creating time lines and practical systems and procedures around those touch points, Alistair.

Alastair:   No worries Kevin, I think there’s a plethora of information around customer journeys out there, obviously on the internet and different places. It’s something that I do teach through my courses. I engage with principles either one on one or obviously through groups and so forth as well. It’s first and foremost understanding the customer journey, the difference it can make in your business and then actually building that customer journey itself. That’s something that needs to be visual. Something that’s actually in your office and as we discussed last time was around consistently, constantly looking at that customer journey and identifying those touch points.

Alastair:   A touch point is any real interaction with your potential client, your current client sor even a past client. It’s really identifying all of those touch points along the way. The main thing to do is sit down, start to map out that customer journey and say where’s the first touch point and we discussed before, it could be the look of your marketing. How does that actually speak to people? Are you telling people how good you are, or are you giving people the idea that you truly are there to service their needs and be their agent for life. A lot of this does come down to what I say is building that client for life. By putting all these, the customer journey into place. That’s exactly what you’re doing and you’re negating a lot of the threats that are out there as well.

Alastair:   There’s a lot of information out there on the net just to give people a bit of a start, even if it’s just looking at some graphs and some timelines as far as that goes. They can look at the different stages, the awareness stage, the decision stage and starting to put those there. It doesn’t need to be difficult. It can start with some basic headings because I think people, a lot of the agents understand to some degree the customer journey, they do know different parts of it. They’ve just never actually sat down and mapped it out properly.

Kevin:   Something troubles me with all of this Alistair and I hope you can sort of throw some light on this for me. Having been down this path, and mapped out what I thought was a fairly good series of touch points in different parts of the journey, that is, from the first time I meet someone in an appraisal to when I get them to list to all the way through to the sales process and then after sales. I’ve always found that I’ve over-complicated it by making it too complex. Trying to get too many touch points in there, to the point where it almost becomes overwhelming. Would you, well firstly do you acknowledge that? And also, do you think it’s better to start small and let it grow?

Alastair:   Absolutely. A lot of that question really comes down to resource. I think that if you’re in a big company, you’ve got a lot of people who are doing different duties, then you can do a lot more. If you’re a smaller company, as a lot of the businesses, high street businesses these days are maybe two, three sales people, whatever it might be and a bit of admin support, it’s like the funnel. Everything you put in the top, something has to come out the bottom. It’s understanding what your capabilities within your business are and how much you can actually make that change effectively and efficiently. It’s not just making that change, it’s then how do you manage that change moving forward.

Alastair:   I totally agree Kevin, I think it can be over-complicated. It’s like a business plan and some of the best business owners I know have a one-page business plan. They haven’t got pages and pages. They keep it simple. They work on their business plan consistently and that’s really no different to the customer journey. It’s really just understanding what resources you have versus the customer journey and the touch points that you would actually have identified and would like to make changes to.

Kevin:   I was staggered when I learned that BHP, probably the biggest company in Australia, their business plan you can actually get it onto one A4 page. It doesn’t have to be too complex does it.

Alastair:   Absolutely not, no.

Kevin:   I want to build on this tomorrow Alistair, because I think creating the culture in your business is all about, we’ve already spoken about it, rolling your team in it, but not making it too difficult. So we’ll talk about that tomorrow, creating the customer culture inside your business. How do you do that? Alistair, thanks for your time. We’ll talk to you tomorrow morning.

Alastair:   Thanks Kevin. Cheers.

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