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Launching In London: A Familiar Challenge in a New City

Posted By Larry Guinee | Dec 5, 2019 7:00 AM
Launching In London: A Familiar Challenge in a New City

Last month, HqO was proud to launch at London Wall Buildings (LWB) — our first European asset! As we geared up to introduce HqO to London, our Tenant Experience (TeX) team was facing a lot of uncertainty. Not only was this our first launch in a new city, but we were branching out into a completely new country. We knew that our Best Practices Playbook for launch that the TeX team has worked hard to develop would be put to the test. We needed to set the tone for those looking for a new tenant experience platform in London.

Bringing HqO Tenant Experience Software to London

At HqO, we center our launches around programming that will excite tenants about the app and demonstrate how using it will make their workday easier. A big challenge that we faced with London Wall Buildings was that we honestly weren’t sure if the London market appreciated the same office perks as American tenants. How would our British counterparts respond to those methods tried and tested in the U.S.?

In addition to not knowing how the London work day flowed and what the people enjoyed for perks and pick-me-ups, the configuration of London Wall Buildings was another challenge that affected our planning of the HqO London launch. The asset is comprised of five interlinking buildings, each with their own lobby and entrance. Without the opportunity to set up shop in one central location, we knew it was going to be difficult to get in front of everyone to educate them about the app and build up a buzz.

HqO London: Preparing to Launch

As the launch weeks approached and we started to finalize our plans, the TeX team was still unsure of what kind of programming to use to introduce the app. Finally, our UK Managing Director, Samuel Warren, stepped up and reminded us that this wasn’t our first launch and that we should continue to do what has been successful for us in the U.S. — at the very least, people were going to appreciate a free coffee and the thought of a succulent (even if they didn’t know what to do with it!). Given the number of launches we had done in the U.S., the fact that our data already backed up that people loved our programming, and that a bit of surprise and delight goes a long way to create a sense of community with their peers, Sam knew London would be receptive to these well-developed ideas and strategies.

We stuck to our playbook: Excellent communication leading up to the launch week, packed with events and giveaways — we would do what we do best in launching a building and engaging with the occupiers.

Liftoff London: Tenant Experience Growth Begins

When our team showed up on site Tuesday and set up in Lobby 3, there was already a palpable buzz amongst the building staff. Between them spreading the word about the launch, and the communication we had sent out to the building leading up to that week, that buzz had reached the tenants in all five lobbies and a line was forming before the espresso machine on our cafe cart had even warmed up! This was a great chance for us to engage the tenants and get them excited about the app.

Our biggest takeaway early on was how thankful tenants from the other lobbies were to be included in the event — one of the new users noted that, “sometimes we feel disconnected from the building and what’s going on since we are in a smaller part of the building, but the LWB app has already kept us informed and connected to everything else you’ve got going on.”

Not only were we connecting the tenants from the five London Wall Buildings, we were brightening up their day.

“This was one of the best work days I’ve had here,” remarked Abbie, one of the concierges at the building. “It was great to connect with our tenants and to be able to tell them about the LWB app. They were all so excited for it and it made our team really happy to see them so happy!”

Sustainable Tenant Experience Growth in London

We knew it was critical not only to hit the ground running, but to instill a sense of loyalty in the tenants of the LWB so they would want to come back to the app for more. After all, we know most smartphone users abandon new apps within three days of original download, and the tenants we were serving would miss out on so much that we’d worked hard to bring them if they lost interest so quickly.

London Wall Buildings launch -- succulent giveaway. HqO London
Day Two of launch week brought a little more of that uncertainty for us, because one of the most frequent questions we got on Day One was, “What’s a succulent?” Thankfully, we did our best to hype them up and quell people’s fears about the maintenance and sunlight needed to keep one alive for longer than a week! We knew they were a hit when we heard the elevator gong ring right at 11 a.m. and a rush of tenants flooded the reception desk to claim their plant. As soon as they grabbed one and went back upstairs, there was a second rush of their co-workers who saw them and wanted to grab one, too!

If that’s not a microcosm of the sense of inclusion and community we’re always hoping to instill, I don’t know what is.

HqO: Experts in Tenant Experience

We have a saying around the office: at HqO, we’re obsessed with tenant experience. We eat, sleep, and breathe TeX and are constantly looking for new and better ways to improve the experience of the tenants who use our service — and the future tenants who don’t even know us yet.

That’s partially why we’d be remiss not to call back Sam’s words of advice from a few weeks prior, which ultimately rang true that week: the tenants at the London Wall Buildings loved our programming. We left that week with a building that was excited and proud to have their own LWB building app — not only for the perks and programming that come with it, but also for the newfound sense of connectivity the building had. We’re experts in tenant experience, and the 67% saturation rate (percentage of tenants that downloaded the app) we had after Week One is an unbelievable measure of success for our launch.

Our time bringing tenant experience to London and the success we saw when launching with such uncertainty is a reaffirmation in the data our TeX team has collected and the launch playbook we’ve established for properties across the world.

Ready to learn more about HqO, our London tenant experience team, and how we can bring community and connectivity to your commercial real estate property? Contact us today to schedule a demo!