Countrywide CEO Alison Platt yesterday made a robust defence of the company’s recently-launched digital hybrid offering, saying it has improved the performance of the businesses within which it’s been rolled out.
In June last year Countrywide introduced what is essentially a parallel hybrid offering at the branches of several brands including Austin & Wyatt, Frank Innes and Spencers, where customers are offered a low-cost digital-only services both in-branch and on each agency’s websites, as well as their more expensive high street offering.
Alison says the roll-out, which so far covers 25% or more of all its branches and is part of a strategy called Every Customer Counts, enables vendors to upgrade from Countrywide’s fixed-price online offering at any point to its full high street service, if they “feel they need the extra help and support”.
“For the business, the brands where we’ve rolled out Every Customer Counts have seen better performance at every step of the journey, increased traffic, more valuations, better conversion, improved sales progression and increased revenue,” Alison said.
The Countrywide CEO also revealed that the company will be launching its much-discussed online mortgage offering for both consumers and brokers and that leading tech firm Blenheim Chalcot is to build it.
“Their record in the digital area is as extensive as ours in the mortgage market,” she said.
“We know many customers want some of their mortgage journey to be online, and we want to enable that.
“We will also be developing digital tools for our mortgage consultants. It will allow us to do more for our customers and our people as we continue to invest in our brokers providing advice face to face and over the telephone.”
Alison also positioned Countrywide as the future innovator in the industry, suggesting that it’s hybrid and online mortgage offerings were the start of a wider range of innovation within the company.
“Our success will be built on how we use technology to empower those people to make a difference in our customer’s lives,” she says.
“We have begun a profound transformation at Countrywide; to become an estate agent who’s ready for the future.
“We want to lead the transformation in the industry; I invite you all to join us on the journey.”