Today we have a guest blogger, Eric Brown, Founder and Owner of Urbane Apartments. His unique approach to Underground Marketing and Property Management, focusing on the Residents Experience, has helped Urbane Apartments achieve some of the highest rents per square foot and per unit in the Royal Oak, Michigan area where they are located. In this guest post, he shares some of his fascinating perspectives on brand and customer experience, as well as some of his company’s innovative ideas.
Does Money, Luxury, or Value Create a Remarkable Customer Experience? What are the key ingredients of a Remarkable Customer Experience?
Remarkable, as defined by the legend Seth Godin:
- Remarkable doesn’t mean remarkable to you. It means remarkable to me. Am I going to make a remark about it?
- Being noticed is not the same as being remarkable. Running down the street naked will get you noticed, but it won’t accomplish much. It’s easy to pull off a stunt, but not useful.
Is the experience you are creating for your customer remarkable, and does your customer find value in the experience created? Are you matching your Brand to a Targeted Experience? As posted by one of Becky’s readers,
“Service excellence, just as with beauty, is in the eye of the beholder”
This is spot on. Take some time to evaluate what will Engage and Delight your customer based on your Brand. We were at the local Mini Cooper dealership and they openly invite customers to bring in their beloved pets to the dealership, which some folks get really excited about. It works for Mini Cooper, but you likely would not find that at the Jaguar showroom. Mini Cooper is matching a Customer Experience to their Brand; this example has no correlation to Luxury and doesn’t get better by adding more Money. Southwest Airlines, you either love them or hate them with the cattle call lines, no assigned seats, no frills. Yet true Southwest Customers like, enjoy, laugh with, and have a favorable experience with, Southwest. Herb Kelleher somehow figured out how to deliver a consistent, value driven experience and permitted his employees to fix it when it wasn’t.
We own and manage a small boutique apartment management company Urbane Apartments in Royal Oak, MI and have used some innovative ideas to create Remarkable Experiences for our Residents that align to our Brand. Here are some Case Studies:
- We do not send out paper leases. The lease, a floor plan, emergency numbers and some unit pictures are given to the resident at Move In on a thumb drive, which is also a key chain with our logo on it. Being able to walk away with all of the lease information on a tiny thumb drive that fits in their pocket and that they can also use to store additional information has created a “Cool Factor”, something worth talking about. This idea may not bode well if we were in the senior housing business, but it does resonate well with our target demographic.
- We have embraced Urbane Loves Pets, no extra fees, no breed restrictions, no size requirements. Our theory is that if we have great residents, they likely have great pets. And while there are certainly problems that occur from time to time, we own the segment pet market locally by creating a favorable experience for our “Pet Lover Residents”.
- Urbane created the “Freedom Lease” which affords maximum flexibility on lease terms for our residents. Lots of folks out there are consultants today, and the standard year lease did not fit this paradigm shift. We have fostered a living arrangement that works to address the residents’ needs, our needs, and allows flexibility, which evokes a better experience than figuring out how to break a lease when circumstances change.
What experience you are creating for your customer? Let us know your thoughts and stories here at Customers Rock!