“We are still convinced that the Ziggu platform is ideal for our customers and us”
Innovative working and living spaces in a sauce of sustainability and quality, with creative architecture as the main ingredient: developer ION pushes boundaries with each of their construction projects. Not only in the development of the buildings, but also in customer support. They go for 100% customer satisfaction and refuse to accept anything less. Ellen De Clercq (head of the customer advisors team) and her colleagues have been using the Ziggu platform to achieve this goal for four years now.
In 2018, ION set up a dedicated team to care for homebuyers from reservation to completion of their home. The creation of that team was also the start of the collaboration with Ziggu. “We implemented the Ziggu platform at the same time as the launch of our team,” says Ellen. “This was a good move from our part actually, because that way we got off to a good start, and we could take customers on ION’s digitalisation path more easily.”
But since ION and Ziggu first shook hands four years ago, a lot has changed for both companies. “In terms of customer support, we have remained the same — close contact with our customers still takes centre stage,” says Ellen. “But our projects have grown. In the past, projects with sixty or eighty apartments were the exception, but now, that scale is quite normal for us.”
ION even has projects of about 200 units planned in the coming year. So let’s put it this way: the property developer has grown quite a lot in recent years. But projects that run into the tens or even hundreds in terms of residential units also mean Ellen and her colleagues care for many more customers. “Thanks to Ziggu, we can inform all those buyers much faster”, Ellen says.
“Wow, those guys from Ziggu have created a clever platform in a short amount of time”
Can Ziggu follow ION’s growth? Or in other words: is the platform growing fast enough in line with the project developer's ambition? “Yes”, says Ellen. “I think it’s always been clear to Ziggu's team that we’re an ambitious company and that we’re growing quickly,” laughs Ellen. “But they understand very well that their platform cannot stand still. I don't think they have that mindset either. We notice that they’re continuously developing new features or making small adjustments that have a major impact on us.”
Ziggu's platform simply fits well with ION's needs. “It's pretty unbelievable, actually,” says Ellen. “If you look at how the platform was four years ago — good but basic — and compare it to how it is now… wow, those guys from Ziggu have created a clever platform in a short amount of time.”
So Ziggu has also grown in the past three years. But, Ellen emphasises: “The collaboration is still just as pleasant. Many of our contacts at Ziggu are still the same people, which gives a good impression, and they are still very available. We've never felt like we've become a number to them. On the contrary, a few weeks ago, Pieter (Gistelinck, Chief Product Officer) and Laura (Van den Bossche, Customer Success Manager) even came to work at our office for a day to see how we work and what our needs are.”
Ellen and her team notice that Ziggu still has the same spirit as when they first started. “You can feel that they still want to learn – about how we work and how they can make the platform even better for their customers. They've always been hands-on, and it's great to see that after four years, that mindset is still there."
“If you strive for maximum customer satisfaction, you have to give your homebuyers a platform that explains itself”
And what about the next four years? “Ziggu has been evolving with us for four years, and I think they will stay in that flow — that’s important to us. We are still convinced that the Ziggu platform is ideal for us. It is very user-friendly for our team and our customers. If you strive for maximum customer satisfaction, you can’t give your customers a complicated online platform. And that is absolutely not the case with Ziggu; people can easily find their way.”
At the beginning of the COVID pandemic, that aspect proved especially important. “People suddenly had to make their choices online because they could no longer go to the showrooms due to the lockdown. So, of course, at a time like that, it’s handy to have an online platform where they can easily do that,” says Ellen. “The fact that we were already very digital-minded at ION and Ziggu was well established in our way of working, ensured that we didn't have to worry about how we had to arrange everything digitally during the lockdowns.”
The handy decision tool (to choose fixtures and fittings), contacting customers, sharing photos or news: ION uses Ziggu for pretty much every step of customer support. Even for aftercare. “After completion, we make sure that we remain available to our homebuyers, and Ziggu plays a role in that too. For example, we recently completed the handover of an apartment building. The buyers could still give their remarks via the platform. As soon as we had those, we started working on improving or fixing things for the owners and informed them again via Ziggu when everything was ready.”
So ION remains active on Ziggu even after project completion. “It’s crucial to us that we can continue to inform customers, but that they also have a point of contact. Even if they already live in the apartment, we put a lot of emphasis on our customer support,” says Ellen. ION will not compromise on this smooth customer service. For the project developer, the same is essential when working with partners. “We also get a quick response from Ziggu if we have any questions or feedback. It's nice to know that after four years of working together, we still share that same philosophy on customer support.”
Matching the level of customer experience to the high-end homes GLAM Living offers has always been important for Chris Carmichael. “We don’t want to sell you a £750,000 house and then leave you out in the cold,” he says.
Will Newett, founder of Newett Homes, explains why an exquisite home in a great location isn’t enough anymore. Homebuyers in the UK are more demanding than ever and expect a smooth customer journey from beginning to end. Digital tools to offer a better experience have become the way to differentiate as a home builder.