In today’s world with the overload of information, the fast pace of life and the exposure to boundless real estate services; personalized services and full customer experience is a powerful value proposition and differentiator.
WHAT IS CUSTOMER SERVICE?
Customer service as defined by Wikipedia is the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase, According to Turban et al. (2002), It can also be seen as the knowledge delivered with care to make life easy for the customer. Customer service is a collection the different activities that a company has designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction by satisfying the customer needs and exceeding their expectations. It is that one-on-one contact with the customer.
Good customer service involves the careful development of personal and interpersonal relationships with customers and gaining confidence of new customers plus solidifying those of the old customers via the product or service been offered. Unfortunately in recent times, many businesses have lowered the standards of customer service with inconsistent delivery of promises while customers have equally lowered their expectations and therefore expect poor service at all times. Companies with proactive attitudes can leverage on this to their advantage by applying enforceable customer service strategies and tools to maintain the old customers and attract new ones.
SIGNIFICANCE OF CUSTOMER SERVICE
Quality customer services have the following positive outcomes:
a. It adds value to the product or service the customer purchased from the company because the customer leaves feeling he/she has bought a product worthy of the amount paid for it.
b. It offers competitive advantage to the customers and provides an opportunity for elaborate understanding of the product
c. Good service creates a good public image for the business by elevating the brand in the public eye which is essential in order to survive competitive business.
d. Without the customer there is no business, therefore the customer is very important. Excellent customer service leave customers satisfied. And these customers would most likely do a repeat business in the future, would help spread the word/give referrals, become loyal customers who in turn would result to increased sales and profits. On the Contrary, companies with poor customer service may lose customers and this would definitely have a negative impact on the business. It would cost much more money for a company to acquire a customer than to retain them, due to advertising costs and the expense of sales calls.
e. Customers always have complaints about a product or a service from time to time and require support in solving those problems. Good customer service that address questions, answers to complaints or problems timely leave customers satisfied. These results in fewer complaints from the customers and shows the customer that the company cares about their satisfaction and happiness.
f. A good customer service can also increases the morale and confidence that customers have in a product or service.
g. It converts your clients to your raving fans.
Because customers are vital to any business, real estate companies need also to be well equipped in offering real customer service solutions. However, good customer service is not easily achieved. It takes time to establish. It requires investment to deliver consistent standards. What real estate investors and end users are really interested in today’s investing environment are competence, expertise, intelligence, transparency and availability. They want to do business with people that help them feel comfortable with making investment decisions, people that answer their questions promptly and appropriately, people that invest time ensuring that they are satisfied at the end. Customers should always feel special whenever they experience your brand. This is very important to the real estate business which majorly thrives on referrals to survive.
(To be continued in the next edition)