The Canadian Real Estate Association (CREA) is one of Canada’s largest single-industry trade groups, with over 100,000 members including real estate brokers, agents, and salespeople. We sat down with CREA Consumer Insights Manager Paul Dombowsky to discuss how ForeSee is helping the organization improve measurement and understanding of consumer segmentation as well as keep its members better informed on the logic behind improvements to Realtor.ca.
And to hear more about how CREA is a best-in-class VOC Leader, watch our interview with Paul via the video below.
Why is it important for CREA to measure customer experience?
When I started in this role three years ago, we understood that we were measuring the basics around customer visits to Realtor.ca, which is the main real estate website for people looking for property in Canada. We didn’t have a great sense as to the quality of those visits or the experience consumers were having when they were searching for properties. So, we thought that understanding that experience in a more comprehensive way was important for us to improve the site and the products that we offer consumers.
Why did CREA choose ForeSee specifically to help you measure customer experience?
When we wanted to better understand consumer behavior and satisfaction on our site, we needed a tool and a methodology that represented a combination of things: what people’s intentions are, what took them to the site, their behavior on the site, and whether they really got what they wanted. I think that’s important when it comes to searching for property or products on an e-commerce site — getting to dig down into the satisfaction and the reasons behind that satisfaction.
ForeSee was the only product we found that offered that ability to see things at a high level, but also dig down into the numbers. We look at segmentation as an important part of this process — because not all home buyers are the same, just like not all buyers on an e-commerce site or other sites are the same. [ForeSee helped with] getting a sense as to how a first-time home buyer responds to the site, versus somebody who’s looking to buy investment property versus somebody who’s looking to downgrade because their children have moved out… for example.
Understanding those different journeys, and how the satisfaction on the site is measured based on those journeys, was important for us. ForeSee gave us that opportunity to do it in a way that was not overly expensive and that tied into things that we could [take] action on in the future.
You wouldn’t run any other part of your business, such as finance, supply chain, or sales without reliable data to support those business decisions. Why is it important to measure customer experience with equal certainty?
CREA is a unique organization. We have a member base that’s over 100,000 strong across the country, and we own Realtor.ca as part of the service provided to consumers. Understanding what we use to make decisions, and being able to articulate that to our members, is an important part of the CX measurements that we use. [ForeSee lets] us layer in customer satisfaction and a real measurement of customer experience which gave us the ability to demonstrate to the people who pay our bills why we make the decisions we do. I think it also helps us clarify the priority of things. We don’t have an unlimited budget. We don’t just say “we’re going to raise sales” to fund future changes to the site. We need to be mindful of the money that we are given by our members. Understanding how to prioritize things that [provide] the maximum benefit to the people that are using the site allowed us to lay out a roadmap for the future.
I think the other part of that is our ability to understand the impact of these changes. What is it that we wanted to do? How do we hope that will impact customer satisfaction? And six months down the line, what in fact, happened to customer satisfaction? We can see that in some of the changes that we’ve made, which have made a much bigger positive impact on satisfaction than we expected.
Can you share a story about how ForeSee has helped your company?
One of the things we learned very early on using ForeSee was the ability to customize the questions to determine what visitors to the site would like to see in the future that would help us increase satisfaction, then implement those changes and measure the results.
We’ve made a number of changes to Realtor.ca that were really focused on an important element of people’s home buying journey, such as being able to save more favorites and the ability to use comparisons. I don’t think we really understood the impact on satisfaction that those elements had before.
We found that as we made these changes based on the feedback that we originally received, our satisfaction for the people that were using those features actually went up a few points. This is an interesting example, too, because I think it really helped us understand that our site is not just for quickly taking a look at properties. It’s a companion for the home buying journey that someone’s on.Categories: Client Voices