A Few Customer Service Basics

Customer service is the latest in a series of posting in which we review some basics of the trade. We are more than halfway through the year and in the traditionally high point of the sales cycles, and there’s no better time to reassess the essentials that can make or break an agent.

As you know, customer service is important to the success of any business, but real estate is almost solely about it: A client need not spend time or energy with a slacking agent when so many excellent ones are competing.

Pay attention to these customer service suggestions to make sure you always win your clients over.

  • First time service. You may find that you use the same service techniques with each customer or client but remember: It’s the first time each one of them is hearing it. Clients don’t care that you’ve said phrases 100 times. This is rule number one of customer service: You must treat each client as though they are your only one and each time you provide counsel and assistance. Don’t let your service become stale.
  • There’s no such thing as over communication. Again, the processes necessary to complete a real estate transaction may be routine to you, but homebuying is a stressful situation for buyers and sellers. Go out of your way to relay even small bit of information to your clients. Don’t ever let it be the case they have to call you to find out what’s happening.
  • Work with the best. Your credibility relies as much on your trade partners as on you, so it’s vital your office staff be on top of their service game. Likewise, only refer mortgage bankers, inspectors, and service providers you can count on, because they are a reflection on you.
  • Handle problems quickly. The way you respond to difficulties can make or break you. Be direct and assume responsibility, for even if you aren’t the direct cause of a problem, the buck stops with you. And, you will experience an occasional crisis, so be prepared. Apologize and be ready to fix the situation.
  • Look outside your industry. Don’t recreate the wheel! The hospitality business, for instance, is another industry that lives and dies by the quality of its customer service so talk to people in the industry to get their advice. You might also think about businesses you enjoy working with, be it a banker, electrician or the person who cuts your hair. Think about what they provide that keeps you coming back and apply it to your own business.

Finally, you must always keep your word. This is likely one of the first bits of guidance you got in business, and for good reason. Once you’ve broken trust, it’s difficult to regain it, so keep your word, follow our tips, and you are on your way to a winning customer service plan.