Over the years, I’ve managed to crash a lot of cars. Although usually not my fault, it’s the perils of living in a rural area and working in an urban office. It’s also the result of being a Realtor. I’m always driving somewhere.
Since the beginning, I’ve gone to the same body shop. The process would go something like this: I’d call the insurance company, take my car to the shop, answer a few quick questions, hand over my keys, get into a rental car parked out front, and resume my life. A week or so later, I’d get the call that my car was done, I’d drive in, turn over my rental car keys and pick up my car keys. It was as easy as that. And it was wonderful.
I was treated with great customer service. I was spoiled and didn’t know it. I didn’t know it until recently when I took my car in and found that my favorite body shop had new ownership, and my beloved Rob, the guy at the desk who always had the perfect mix of sympathy and professionalism, was gone.
Gone is the ability to answer a couple questions and hand over my keys. I was suddenly asked to do things I never had to do before- meet with an appraiser? Get a claim number? Send the bid to my insurance company? Find out what my daily rental car fee is? WHAT?! After being the middleman for a couple days, I finally just said, “I don’t have time to do all this crap. Can you just call my insurance agent and get these questions answered for yourself?”
This is the difference between good service and great service. Good service means you get the job done and people are fine with the results. Great service is the job is done, the client is happy, and they never forget you. They remember you, your name, and how you made them feel. Great customer service is so rare nowadays that people can’t help but remember it.
I realize now that Rob’s job wasn’t easy. There was a lot of coordination and phone calls that he placed on my behalf and never told me. He probably had headaches, paperwork, and negotiations that I was never privy to, and honestly didn’t care to know about. Sound familiar?
I chuckle when people think our job as Realtors is easy. (I get annoyed by that, too.) But maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s a tribute to us that they think our job is easy because we made their experience great.
Almost every transaction has issues. We know that, and we can’t fix that. What we can fix is how well the client is communicated with and how we have worked to reduce as much stress and anxiety for them as possible. The more we handle on their behalf without involving them, the better.
So now that we are almost to the end of 2016, it is a great time to do one final piece of customer service: Say “Thank you.”
Send a handwritten Christmas card to everyone who had a transaction with you this year. Hang a little bag of candy with a quick note on their front door. Send them a $5 gift card for a local coffee shop. Or simply give them a call. Do something to show them your appreciation for choosing you.
This job is all about building relationships. And great relationships are formed by providing great customer service. Remember, it’s all about how you made them feel. And if you make them feel wonderful, they will never forget you. And, as a result, never go to anyone else.
Amy Gilpin, Associate Broker, Manager, ABR, SRES.
Fourteen years of helping clients. Six years of helping agents. All for this crazy thing we call real estate.
Production Realty 517-879-4141 Jackson, MI Amy@ProductionRealty.com