Customers today are more educated than ever, and they expect stellar customer service, especially when dealing with an expensive, emotional, and even stressful transition like buying and selling real estate.
“They know what good customer service is and they aren’t just comparing you to your direct competition,” says customer service expert and business coach Shep Hyken. “Anyone that has delivered a stellar customer service experience—in any type of business—to one of your customers has just set the bar higher for you.”
According to a recent survey of 1,138 consumers by Five9, a cloud contact center software company, 89 percent of respondents said “great customer experience” is the key reason they choose to do business with a company. That reason beat price and recommendations from friends.
If you’re looking to improve your customer service or the perception of the service provided by your real estate firm, here are five strategies recommended by Hyken.
- Start internally. “Customer service doesn’t just happen on the front line,” Hyken says. “It happens throughout the entire company. It’s part of the company’s culture.”
- Be present in the moment. How you interact with your clients today has a direct impact on your business tomorrow. Hyken says think about what kind of experience your clients are having at this moment. Is it going to ensure that the next time he or she needs to buy or sell a home that they will come back to you?
- Admit when you’re wrong. “No company and no person is flawless. You can’t deliver a perfect customer experience all of the time,” Hyken says. That’s why it’s critical to address a problem or complaint. It’s often in these moments that true customer satisfaction can be obtained. “Restore the customer’s confidence,” he says. “Assuming you handle the issue well, it validates the customer’s choice to do business with you in the first place and proves why they should come back.”
- Never argue. “You’re not trying to win an argument. You’re trying to win a customer,” is an old adage that Hyken recommends taking to heart.
- Show your appreciation. Clients want to know you care. Whether it’s handwritten notes, closing day anniversary gifts, birthday cards, or client appreciation events, saying “thank you” in multiple ways over time will go a long way, Hyken says.
Source: “Strike One and You’re Out! Five Ways to Ensure Your Customer Service Is a Hit” December 2017, hyken.com.