CUSTOMER SERVICE IN REAL ESTATE (Part 2)
Continued from last edition
For real estate companies to have an excellent customers’ service, below are some vital factors that need to be considered for implementation on a consistent basis:
• Eliminate procrastination – As much as possible, try to respond to your clients promptly. If the request is time consuming or cannot be delivered at the moment due to unavailability or other factors, try to inform the customers in advance, providing a timeline to deliver on the request/task. This way they are prepared and aware of the situation or else, have an option of opting for an alternative. But if this can be avoided, it is better to respond promptly.
• Answer the phone – Customers always almost reach for the phone in the event that they need to lay complaints about a service before sourcing for other options. It can be upsetting to call the customer care of a business without receiving any response. Ensure that the phone is answered at all times. People prefer to lay their complaints to real people and robots or recorded messages.
• Keep clients updated – Constant status updates keep clients abreast with ongoing situations about a project. Informing them of a development’s milestones, construction, repairs or maintenance progress, changes made if any, market analysis etc gives them some sort of reinforcements that they’re involved in the project and more confidence in the project itself.
• Be Reliable – Being reliable is a major factor in delivering on good client service. Never make promises if there is no guarantee of keeping them. It is better not to promise than to promise and fail. A client will most times want to continue doing business with a company who stays true to their words in terms of appointments, deadlines and delivery. It goes a long way to show the company’s level of professionalism.
• Always listen to your Customers – It is paramount to try to listen and understand what a client is communicating. Some clients have difficulty expressing themselves or can be ambiguous with words. Still, it is the responsibility of the customer service personnel to ask for clarification where there isn’t any to avoid the customer leaving with the joy that there was understanding while there wasn’t. Such can only lead to more complaints, unsatisfied customers or worse more, bad publicity.
• Be well informed – Knowing all there is to know about the project or service and having up-to-date information that answers to customers questions or needs put the company in a position of confidence and professionalism. Train your staff to be knowledgeable and courteous and always helpful. Knowing the basics of customer service interactions equips them better to handle those curious and questioning clients.
• Be Patient – Refusing to display agitation to the knowledge of your callers who either derive pleasure in pushing peoples buttons or do not in truth understand the message been relayed to them takes a lot of practice and expertise. It is important to maintain professionalism at all times.
• Go the extra mile – Often times, clients come up with one request or the other. Whatever that extra step may be, good client service takes it. Clients always notice or know when an extra effort was put into delivering on task, and though some may not say it, others actually show gratitude or appreciation. Now, not only will these lead to an indebted client, it would have paved a path for future businesses or transactions.
Many more companies are turning to good customer service to differentiate themselves from the competitors. This is the only way they can stand out. This is why Customer Service is essential in real estate.
• Under-promise and over-deliver – The level of expectation in today’s real estate environment is so low that simply doing what you say you are going to do or following up when you say you will follow up is often all it takes to make a customer happy. Never promise what you do not mean or are incapable of offering. Doing a little more that the customer expects makes a positive impression and ensures repeat business or at the very minimum a referral.