Cover Story: Let Customers Be Your Guide
Low engagement was a reason home owner renewals remained an area HMS could improve. It wasn't just that warranties were an afterthought on one of the biggest transactions of the homeowners' lives. The way HMS communicated with consumers was very efficient, but not engaging.
"We were fulfilling our commitment from a compliance and licensing standpoint," says Stein, "but the part we weren't taking advantage of was trying to understand how to build that relationship with the customers."
"What the [overall] VOC research [has] indicated is that so many companies have learned to do the operational, transactional things … efficiently from the company's transactional point of view," says Roman. But, "that doesn't mean that's in alignment with the customers' expectations or the customers' experiences." ERDM had found that, when these necessary communications were still done efficiently, but designed to better drive engagement, it improved the customer experience and resulted in higher retention and renewal rates.
"This is one of the big 'Ahas!' that came out of the VOC," says Roman. "Do the operational stuff, but make it engaging. Make it more relevant. Bring customers into the conversation. That will help ensure that customers stay with you longer."
Through the research, Stein learned that to get customers to renew at the end of 12 months, their interaction with HMS from months one to 11 had to reinforce the value of the relationship. So early HMS touchpoints went from focusing on the fine print to encouraging customers to engage in a deeper relationship.
For example, Stein explains, "We have one package, which for years was strictly a fulfillment kit. But post-VOC, we have built it out to be a highly effective, customized first touchpoint. And we now refer to it as a welcome booklet, as it does the role of fulfillment, but also assists in kicking off the relationship in a warm, friendly and engaging manner."