In this final instalment of the series 'How to consistently write in excess of $1 million in fees', I will discuss the topic of customer service.
This is an all encompassing term and it means different things to different people. In fact, I believe the term has become so over used that we have forgotten what the true essence of it really means.
According to the dictionary, the term customer service is defined as the provision of service to customers before, during and after a purchase. Customer service is a series of activities designed to enhance the level of customer satisfaction – that is, the feeling that a product or service has met the customer expectation.
I believe that as estate agents we should ALL strive to fulfill this definition. However, I am a realist and I understand that this would be a utopian view. So how can we ensure that the customer’s experience is enhanced?
In my office we decided that in order to ensure that the customer’s experience was exceptional we have a dedicated staff member that follows the client (both purchaser and vendor) from the time the contracts are signed through to settlement. It is often this period of time where agents are less diligent with contact as they are onto their next sale, which is completely expected as we get paid on performance. The client, however, can often feel abandoned, resulting in an unfair review. But the flip side is if the client is looked after well during this period, this will ensure future referrals from that client.
But customer service is not just about what happens from sold to settlement. Ask yourself these questions?
Do you return ALL your calls within a few hours? Certainly by the end of the day?
Do you have a reliable list of tradespeople to offer your clients?
Do you have a great solicitor, removalist, finance guy, stylist to offer your clients?
Are you readily available for your clients, at any time of day?
Do you know how a home should be presented and are you able to advise your clients appropriately?
Are you always on time?
Do you deliver on all your promises?
They are a million little things that we do that determine our level of customer service, but I have found that a sure-fire way to ensure I am on track with my delivery of service is to treat others how I would like to be treated.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Karen Vogl is the principal of hockingstuart Ringwood. She was recently named Top Female Agent for the second year in a row in Real Estate Business' Top 100 Agents, in which she was ranked 13th.