We are very excited by the £2 billion UK Green Homes Grant announced on the 8th of July. The scheme will help tackle the poor energy efficiency of the UK built environment which currently accounts for 40% of the UK’s total carbon emissions.
The announcement has sparked a surge in interest from homeowners
As the Green Home Grant details are being unveiled bit by bit, a lot of businesses in the building industry are sharpening their marketing and sales tools to reap the benefits of this long-awaited set of incentives.
They are right to do so even though the process of getting the works done and getting the money are still unclear.
Looking at the surge in Google search queries and prospect inquiries mentioned by some of our clients in the sector, it's never too early to get ready.
Green Home Grant related search trends UK
Source: Google Trends
What businesses can do to get ready
The C Collective has been involved in several Research and User Experience strategy projects for built environment organisations, This has helped us gain good insight into needs and attitudes with regards to home improvement and we are happy to share some best practises which could help the sector make the most of this government scheme.
1- Build strong foundations by mapping and creating frictionless user journeys
User experience is a series of interactions along time and across different channels. Think of it as a flow that must be as seamless as possible. To achieve this, get your team together and for each type of customer, map all the steps they go through before, during and after they get in touch with you. Identify the problems and the opportunities. Talk to some customers to gain more insight and try to fix the friction points.
Understanding the multi-channel buying journey
2 - Get on directories and polish your customer reviews
Identify all relevant accreditations and directories of vetted suppliers to be there the day the scheme launches. If prospects find you, they will want to check your customers’ reviews, so make sure you have enough in terms of quality and quantity.
3 - Polish your SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) and get ready for Paid Search
It’s time to audit and optimise the SEO of your content and metadata. Analyse which keywords people are using to search, which keywords are sending traffic to your website. Optimise your existing pages and create bespoke landing pages with strong call to actions to drive prospect to the next step in the journey. If you do not have experience in Paid Search, it’s time to start because if you are not ready when the scheme kicks-off in September, you can be sure your competitors will be. Just like for SEO, your paid search journey needs to be as smooth as possible. You want to make sure that once users have clicked on your paid ads in Google or Bing, the landing page on your website matches their expectations and moves them further down the sales funnel.
4 - Create a lead generation machine
Once your content has attracted prospects and made you look like a reliable provider, create a simple process to qualify prospects in the most efficient and automated way. It could be a form or and eligibility check funnel.
As part of your lead generation machine, you need a lead nurturing process. It’s never too early to start building up some interest around the measure even if the scheme is not yet fully defined. The idea is to collect prospects as soon as possible and have a process to keep them warm. Think about a waiting room where you would put some interesting magazines and readings so that people are interested, educated and don’t leave by the time you are ready to serve them. It could be as simple as a confirmation email acknowledging the first contact another newsletter a few weeks later including some relevant information to build engagement and trust until the scheme is totally unveiled and you already to convert those prospects into clients.
What matters is to automate the process so that it runs 24/7 across several channels – website, social media, ads, search- and builds up a pipe of well qualified prospects. Collecting prospect details including mobile number, email, information about their home and the measures they are interested in will help your sales team analyse and pick up leads by order of priority.
5 - Have a sleek sales process.
Based on industry stats and our own experience, more than 25% of leads generated by marketing are not being picked up by sales. That is a big hitch in the user journey and a big waste of your marketing team’s time and budget, isn’t it?
Setting-up a smooth handover between marketing and sales combined with an efficient sales process is key to fix this.
Customer data management is the foundation. What we don't want to see is random clients’ details in Excel spreadsheets or -even worse- post its flying around the office. What we want to see is a list of prospects' details collected by all your channels feeding into a well-managed CRM. Connecting your websites forms with your CRM is fairly easy and can save a lot of time and money down the line -not to mention the security benefits of storing your client data in a properly designed platform.
The next step is defining and enforcing a sales handover process and response time. The earlier you respond to a lead, the higher the conversion rate. Your sales teams must strike while the iron is hot but also strike several times to make sure the prospect picks up the phone or responds to an email.
We hope you found those best practices useful. If you need more information or help to implement them, please get in touch for a chat.