Customer Service is a phrase that is thrown around quite a bit in a lot of industries but especially in real estate. Every agency claims to have the upper hand when it comes to customer service. So, do they? Are all agents and agencies at the absolute top of their game in how they relate to customers and clients?
While many would like to think so and every home page claims dominance in this area, the reality is very different. The reason for this is not that the agencies themselves are slack or not trying hard, it’s just that the measure by which we are judged by our clients and customers has changed in the last few years.
In order to truly serve a consumer you must engage them. The old standard of returning phone calls and answering queries is simply expected now, you don’t get any points for that. No, today’s consumers want something much more personal in their dealings with the companies they interact with.
They want to feel part of the culture and they want to belong to the fabric of the company. You have to touch people, embrace them as friends and go beyond simply trading a service for money. In a world driven by self interest and overt consumerism, the cynicism of the consumer can only be overcome with a humble and authentic approach. In a world soaked with marketing messages at every turn, the modern populace craves sincerity and direct, no nonsense communication. Businesses that demonstrate good ethics, value for money and genuinely care about the outcomes for their customers and clients will build market awareness and consequently market share.
It’s true that the larger the company the harder the task becomes because of the sheer number of people interacting with the consumers on any given day. Despite this unavoidable hurdle, solutions have to be found within the training and structure of the company because people expect that they will be met with exceptional service from everyone in the company. Let’s face it, an alternative service provider is just a mere mouse click or finger swipe away.
So you must aim for the moon in every single interaction with the public and you must exceed your service levels even beyond what was exceptional yesterday. It is important to draw the consumer into your company and make them a part of it.
Once someone feels that way about your company and your service offerings, they become a long term client and a Brand Ambassador for your business.
The alternative is getting ever more serious. With the reach of social media and individual community message boards, a bad experience is no longer a word of mouth problem, it’s a problem with a huge potential audience. It doesn’t take much for a bad experience to reach a very large audience very quickly.
Welcome to Customer Service in the Digital Age.
08th October, 2014