Do you aim to satisfy your customers? Is this the key to your customer service approach? Is this the culture you are creating in your business?
If you answered “yes” to these questions, you may think you have your customer service approach all sorted – but I’m sorry to tell you that you don’t.
Just satisfying your customers is no longer enough. It’s an old-fashioned approach that says you give your customers exactly what they want and no more.
Here are my five top tips to help you impress and keep your clients.
1. Aim to serve
As you shape your business for the long term it’s critical that you stay humble and grounded, and that you respect the clients who are giving you the opportunity to serve them. Aim to develop relationships of mutual benefit: this starts with providing clients with a value proposition, then following through on it. They have chosen your business based on what you have promised to deliver to them, so meeting these expectations must be the basis of your relationships with your customers. Your innovative approach in successfully creating a fusion of high-tech and high touch will ensure you exist in your industry in 15 years.
2. Lifetime value
Calculate what the lifetime value of your customer is. As a reference, if every new customer invests $10,000 and on average they return to do business with you six times, then their lifetime value is $60,000. Now how are you going to treat your potential customer? Changes the mindset, doesn’t it, let alone the impact of referrals to this key strategic metric in your business?
3. Customer loyalty
Make them advocates and raving fans. Customer loyalty is when people will not leave you just because something is cheaper or fancier or newer elsewhere – they truly belong to you. You should be building this, because it’s cheaper to keep a customer than it is to find a new one. You need to keep being relevant and frequent. Getting results for your clients is about doing the right thing and getting beneficial feedback immediately. It’s about meeting – then exceeding – their expectations. If you do this you will keep them for life, since they won’t need to go anywhere else. You own the real estate in their mind for the service you provide. The number of real estate agents who just focus on new prospecting versus harvesting the existing is alarming.
4. Retention strategy
You can develop systems that will help you delight your customers and keep them coming back. These are called retention strategies and are an important part of growing your business. Not having these strategies in place means you have an “I’m going to keep finding new clients every week because I don’t look after my existing clients properly and soon I’m going to go broke” strategy. Think about how powerful word of mouth is. We all tell friends, family and business associates about our experiences with other businesses, good and bad. What will people be saying about your business? How are you training your A-grade customers to be advocates for you and help you to build your benchmark business? What are the words that you wish for your current A-graders to use in describing your business?
5. Referral strategy
Putting systems in place to take care of the above strategies will create referrals from people who were on their way to the bridge and you stepped in and guided them across yours. Once you’ve taken them from A to B and they are delighted on the other side, then they will help guide people across your bridge to you! It’s like an ongoing conveyor belt. And even better, we all trust referrals when they come from somebody we know, so we’re much more likely to act on them. It’s an unpaid and highly trustworthy sales team. Can you think of anything better for your business?
All things being equal, run your real estate business as if it was a recession and watch what happens.