According to ‘Breaking the Mold’ by Kevin Clancy & Robert Shulman, “It costs five times as much to find new customers as it does to retain existing ones”. Couple this with the amount ‘real estate’ and ‘real estate agents’ are discussed at dinner or around the water cooler, it makes sense that agents should be focussing more of their time and marketing efforts around improving client service to existing customers.
Providing a superior service that goes beyond our competitors will see our existing clients return and will often lead to them recommending our service to others.
But, how are we to know what specific areas of our service need to be improved?
Well, in order to improve our processes, we need to analyse how they are currently received by our market. This data will enable us to pin-point where to focus the most attention immediately and improve strategies and create a system to ensure our service is delivered easily, effectively and in a timely fashion.
What do they expect, want and what would exceed their expectations?
In order to be a successful agent we should track customers’ perceptions of our performance to discover our strengths, weakness and ensure that we are delivering beyond their expectations.
There are many ways to do this, including making it easy for customers to make a complaint or suggestion, or even conducting a mystery shopping exercise. The main method I suggest for tracking performance is via the use of a Customer Service Survey.
When compiling a survey for your customers, remember to keep it short, relevant and easy to understand. More information about creating an effective survey can be found at All Business. Plus, here”s a great survey that I came across the other day ~ City of Ryde’s ‘Customer Service Survey’ .
Innovation and Implementation
Customer service surveys can provide some amazing insights into what you are doing right & what areas need to be improved upon. After receiving feedback on the quality of your work, strategies should be developed to overcome any limitations.\r\n\r\nFor instance, one of the customer surveys I did revealed that one of my customers felt that I had an impersonal approach to customers & yet prior to doing the survey I had no idea that some of my customers had felt this way about me at all. It was a bitter pill to swallow at the time, but now I”m a better agent for it.
I”m currently in the process of implementing a system for customer relationship management so I can design a better daily approach to my workflow and communicate more effectively with my customers. I currently use Box & Dice’s BOOM, a Customer Relationship Management System. I now input every person I come into contact with into this system, and document any communication that is made. This allows me to refer to my past notes on a client and remember our last few conversations.
Another issue was my constant follow up. I discovered this was due to a lack of valuable information being provided, resulting in a negative relationship. My solution to this is a Quarterly Report, which includes facts about what”s happening within their suburb such as statistics, sold homes and more.
If you”d like a copy of this Quarterly Report please feel welcome to email me at email@example.com and I”ll send you out the latest version.
Within the CRM, I have also set up specific campaign trails such as Hot, Warm or Cold seller trails so that the BOOM system reminds me of what communication I need to make, at the appropriate time.
While I encountered these two problems, there are many others and it is important to develop a solution specific to the weakness.
What to do?
Given the financial and time costs involved in getting new clients, it is important to fix our current systems and maintain a healthy relationship with our existing clients. By so doing, it is only a matter of time before lots of extra business is generated via ongoing referrasl.
Using client surveys, complaint/comment systems or even mystery shoppers can establish weak points within an agent”s current systems, which can then be enhanced for a much better customer experience. Plus, you”ll get a much better appreciation of what your clients needs & expectations really are, so you can deliver what they want and more.
Once these issues are highlighted then they simply shouldn”t be ignored by brushing them under the carpet. Find a solution and then take the necessary actions required to ensure that your customer service is implemented on an ongoing basis, you”ll very quickly generate lots of ”raving fans” and a fantastic reputation within your service area.
I”d be interested to hear if other agents have used Customer Service Surveys and what sort of response they”ve had? Or maybe what”s been the most enlightening question they”ve asked in their survey?