Jodie Sangster, CEO of the Association for Data-Driven Marketing and Advertising( ADMA), says the key to being a successful disruptor is simply taking customer pain points and fixing them and is eyeing-up real estate as disruption’s next target.
With Uber and Airbnb currently flying the digital disruption flag we can only hope she’s correct as, anyone who has to practically sell their granny to buy a house knows it’s a tougher endurance than Chinese water torture.
“With everything that’s being disrupted at the moment,” Sangster told B&T, “many businesses operate in a way that’s convenient for the business, and real estate is a prime example of that. It’s not a great experience when you’re trying to either sell or buy a house.
“You have to go around to all these different places at a time they say you have to go around – you’ve got a finite period of time – and you don’t know who they’re acting on behalf of, the buyer or the seller. It’s just not clear and I think the switch will soon be going from convenient to the business to convenient for the consumer. The secret behind customer experience is making it a better experience. Not for us as a company, but for the consumer.”
And now virtual reality is closer to real estate than ever, with Sydney-based VR studio Start VR becoming the first company to offer fully-immersive, head mounted virtual experiences for the Aussie real estate industry.
Start VR has developed the EDGE 28 App to be used with virtual reality technology as part of the sales launch for a Sydney apartment development allowing prospective buyers to experience the space even before construction has started.
This represents a leap forward for the real estate industry which has previously offered 360 degree interactive video tours, sometimes billed as virtual reality, but never a fully immersive, photo-realistic experience available across Samsung Gear VR and Google Cardboard HMDs.
“For off-the-plan apartment buyers, getting a realistic view of what they are purchasing is of utmost importance and we wanted to ensure this VR experience was not only offered at high-quality in the display suite but would also translate well for those downloading the App at home and using Google Cardboard,” Start VR CEO Kain Tietzel said.
“Virtual reality is a really powerful tool and when applied to the real estate industry gives consumers greater confidence to part with their hard earned dollar and purchase off-the-plan.”
Sangster says the best disrupters are really only taking on an existing industry, looking at all the customer pain points and fixing them.
“That’s basically what customer experience is,” she added. “With Uber, 80 per cent of the customers’ pain points have been fixed by Uber. And Starwood Hotels. The biggest example they’ve done recently is to allow you to unlock your hotel room door with your mobile phone, so you don’t ever have to queue up at the hotel reception again.”
Sangster says financial services are also way ahead, not so much customer experience but with data-driven one-to-one experience, mainly because they’ve got the data and they’ve got the budget. She cites insurance company Huddle Insurance that addresses the pain point of how people hate paying for insurance because when you come to make a claim, it’s a difficult process.
“They’ve set-up a new model where it’s actually community based insurance,” she added. “You go into a pool with other people similar to you and if you don’t claim within that year you get your money back. Financial services are trying to do some really interesting things, whether it be through their apps or paying through mobile, or being able to have a single view of all your accounts or helping with your budgeting. They’re doing some interesting things, so it’s definitely a space to watch.”
Sangster is speaking at Daze of Disruption, taking place at Melbourne Town Hall on December 3-4, on the ‘Great CX: How to Elevate the Customer Experience’ panel alongside John Batistich, marketing director, Westfield and Jo Gaines, country manager, Krux Digital. For tickets, click here.