Customer Service - it's not as scary as you think!

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An article by Heidi Walkinshaw

More and more we hear of complaints about service. Is it that the level of service is on the decline, or just that our customers are expecting more blood and less fuss? In this ever changing world, with the technology age upon us, the level of information provided to the consumer is immediate, constant and infinite.

So how do we keep on top of it and keep our Clients happy with our service when we are already juggling so many tasks?

Now more than ever, it is important to make sure our Clients are well informed and happy. In doing this we can establish solid relationships and ensure the Client raves about you to their friends and anyone who will listen.

So let’s look at a few ideas that can help you be a communication superstar.

  • Do what you say you are going to – don’t promise the world if you can’t deliver! This will only upset the Client as well as yourself when you can’t keep that promise.
  • Regularly increase rents – make sure you are reviewing rents on a regular basis and informing your Landlord Client’s.
  • Call Clients (rather than emailing them) – nothing beats the personal touch of a phone call and sometimes it is much easier to discuss the property in a call rather than an email. How many times have you heard of email conversations turning nasty because of the “wrong tone”?
  • Admit your mistakes – If you make a mistake, admit it! We are all human and in most cases you will find your Client is more understanding if you are honest and upfront about the situation.
  • Be Consistent – follow your policy and procedures manual and make sure that everyone in your team is carrying out the same task in the same way.
  • Pay attention to the little things – while something may not seem like a huge deal to you, it might be to someone else. Pay attention to the little things that your Client’s are asking for, otherwise it may be the last thing you do for them.
  • Offer a fee free guarantee – put your money where your mouth is! As the saying goes, money talks, so have your clients talking about how great your service is and offer a guarantee that if your service isn’t fantastic, they will receive free management for a certain period of time.
  • Good News Calls – how many times you heard the words “I only hear from you when there is something wrong at my property”. Call your Landlord Client regularly to update them on how fantastic the property is and to catch up rather than calling just to inform of the “bad news”.
  • Survey your Clients – this is one that usually strikes fear into the hearts of most property managers, but shouldn’t! Surveying your Clients is a great tool to use in finding out what your Clients really think of your service and give you means to make necessary improvements.
  • Have a System for Complaints – every business must have a system for dealing with complaints. Is yours effective or just one of those systems where the complaint is taken and “filed”? Make sure that whoever takes the complaint follows up and carries it through until completion.

And remember...

“Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning.”
Bill Gates


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