Transparency in Real Estate Sales and Customer Service

By Khushru Bacha, VP - IT (CIO), Omkar Realtors and Developers

Real Estate companies have traditionally been more focused on customer acquisition without thinking much about the transparency that every customer is looking for today. Fortunately, this trend is changing rapidly and Real Estate Developers now understand that positive word of mouth from happy customers translate into more sales. As a result, many leading Real Estate Developers are now taking a more customer centric approach to run their business.

Runwal Group, a leading Real Estate Developer in Mumbai, is extremely focused on achieving high levels of customer satisfaction. It is therefore essential for us to have robust IT systems and processes to cater to the most important aspect of the company’s business, which is Customer Lifecycle Management.

To achieve this, we have implemented Salesforce (SFDC) to automate the entire customer lifecycle process which involves generating and tracking leads till closure, campaign management, tracking the ROI of each campaign, tracking the performance of our sales team, tracking each sales manager’s success ratio of converting walk-ins to sales, closing sales and then ensuring high levels of post-sales service to our customers.

Salesforce has been integrated seamlessly with our call center. When a person calls up from the same number again, the salesforce screen pops up along with the history of previous interactions held with him or her. The salesforce application tracks every potential lead from the time he or she calls or visits the company’s project site and it maintains a history of the lead through the entire pre-sales process of fixing meetings, recording the points discussed during the meetings, follow up calls, repeat site visits, quotations given and finally the conclusion of sale.

It provides excellent visibility to the management of the sales pipeline for all our projects, the profile of customers who call us expressing interest in our projects, the number of cold, warm and hot leads progressing at each stage and it gives a fair indication of the leads which are drawing towards closure. The progression of the sales pipeline is projected to the management dynamically based on an algorithm which assigns each customer a probability percentage based on many parameters and then keeps increasing the probability as and when the customer advances from one stage to another during his or her life cycle right from the first call to closure of sale. The system also helps us gauge the performance of our call center executives, the numbers of calls made by each call center executive, each day.It tracks the performance of our sales team, the success ratio of each sales manager’s ability to convert walk-ins into sales, it tracks the performance of our channel partners and also tracks the effectiveness and ROI of our various campaigns. It also gives us an idea of the profile of people who express interest in our projects, their profession, their preferences, their budget, location and so forth. This enables us to design our future projects and our future campaigns more precisely to target the right audience.

Salesforce application is also helping us in providing high levels of service to our customers. The company management has a zero tolerance policy towards any slippage in customer service. It is therefore essential for us to have IT systems which will make the customer complaint handling process transparent and trackable till closure. Salesforce along with CTI telephony interface, helps us ensure that a registered customer who calls our CRM helpline would land on the desk of the same relationship manager who has been assigned to him or her. As soon as the call is picked up, Salesforce automatically pops up the customer details along with the previous interactions held with him or her and the complaint gets logged. If all relationship managers are busy or if the customer calls up after office hours, the system reports all such missed calls. These missed calls are monitored and the CRM team returns these calls.

This prevents leakage of complaints. The complaints are classified into pre-defined categories so that we can get a category wise analysis of complaints. The complaint gets tracked at each stage as it advances. It gets auto escalated based on a defined escalation matrix and the turn-around-times defined for each escalation level. The ageing of complaints can be tracked at each stage of escalation, for each relationship manager and for each category of complaint. This provides complete transparency to the management and makes the CRM team more accountable for providing faster resolution to customer complaints.

We have also created a self-help portal where customers can log in and view details of their project, its completion status, their financial transactions and other such information. They can also provide their feedback, log in their complaints or queries and track the progress of the complaint or query on the portal.

The system has helped us achieve automation and transparency of the complete lifecycle of customer acquisition process and post-sales relationship management process.

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