Customer ServiceElite Agent

Service, please!

To be in the real estate industry is to be in the service industry. No matter which way you look at it – whether you are in property management, sales or administration – your role is to deliver value to your client. But how do you find out what the client values? Caroline Bolderston explains.

Every client wants excellent service, but no two are the same.

In order to deliver excellent service, you need to know what your client values and the outcomes they desire.

You see, when you know what a client values and what they expect to happen, that’s when you have the potential to truly serve and deliver an exceptional experience.

You can do this in three simple steps:

STEP 1. MORE THAN JUST SALE PRICE
If you have been in the industry for longer than six months, you will have developed a clear set of beliefs around what is important to your clients.

As an example, in sales, most agents I speak to believe that service is primarily about achieving the best price.

Why is it then, that a campaign can go incredibly well in terms of the sale price, yet the client feels it was less than an exceptional experience?

Most clients place value on other elements of the process that contribute to their perception of excellent service.

For some it is timely feedback, for others it’s having the signboard installed on time, and some believe that having an agent who will be making proactive recommendations is the most important thing.

To truly understand what your client values, you must dedicate more time to digging deep at the beginning to uncover what they want to see, feel and hear.

A great opening question is, “What does exceptional service look like to you?” or “How can I ensure I deliver you the service you need?”

The answers should determine how you serve them.

STEP 2. GET SPECIFIC REGARDING THE OUTCOME
While this may seem obvious, it’s worth checking how well you are doing with it.

Once you have asked a few powerful opening questions, it’s time to get specific about what it means.

A response you might hear from some clients is: “I’d like to know how the inspections go as soon as possible.”

Be sure to understand their definition of “as soon as possible”.

Do they mean the minute the inspection is finished? By the end of the day?

Get specific.

It’s so much easier to deliver the desired outcome when it is black and white.

STEP 3. DELIVER ON EXPECTATIONS
The next step to exceptional service is to follow through on expectations.

Many factors can derail a plan or process, therefore many agents avoid being specific on what or when something will take place.

Avoidance is not the answer.

To protect yourself from failing your client’s expectations, always include
extra time allowances when you will be relying on a third party to complete a task.

Don’t over-promise or set yourself up for pressure and stress.

The other thing to be careful of is not falling victim to the belief that ‘no news is good news’.

If you haven’t heard back from an offer party by the time stipulated time, or the ‘just listed’ cards have not arrived on time for delivery, tell your client as soon as you can.

Always be on the front foot if you can see an outcome is in jeopardy.

In most cases, being pro-active, updating your client and providing a new
plan before the expected timeframe, means your client will understand.

As in most things in life, the unknown is where concern, frustration, disappointment and dissatisfaction grow.

Take the time to know what your client wants, how they would like to see things done and to update their expectations in real-time along the way.

These three simple steps will have an enormous impact on your clients and solidify your reputation.

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