San Diego, CA (PRWEB) August 28, 2014
According to a new poll sponsored by KANA Software, 30 percent of the 2,000 consumers surveyed said they’ve become “less loyal to retail brands in the past five years.” The main reason for the decline? Poor customer service.
Modern technology has benefited real estate agents and escrow officers alike in many significant ways. Between email, social media, a variety of helpful apps and other innovations, there’s a lot technology can do to promote their services around-the-clock and throughout all of the areas they strive to represent.
But, says Casey LeBlanc, president of New Venture Escrow, the same ground-breaking technology can act as a barrier to quality customer service. “It’s important to remember that any technological innovation that improves life for real estate firms and escrow companies isn’t necessarily something clients appreciate as well,” he says.
Above all else, clients still want to know at every turn, “What’s in it for me?” If they encounter a malfunctioning business website or perceive that their agent is more concerned with gaining Twitter followers than seeing a real estate transaction through to its conclusion, they’re more likely to reach out elsewhere for their real estate needs (whether buying or selling a house) the next time around.
LeBlanc offers these suggestions on how to retain the human touch as a key element of effective customer service:
Be the source of reliable information. “Your clients rely on you to walk them through each step of the buying or selling process, so it’s always better to err on the side of providing more information rather than less (they’ll let you know if and when they’ve had enough!),” he says. This dependence on reliable information becomes even more critical in the latter stages of the process, when the time nears to close escrow and property is about to change ownership.
This is also the time when more questions arise about paperwork, filing deadlines, taxes, etc., so being available and ready to answer questions makes you a valuable resource to them. “Remember—you’re the expert,” LeBlanc says. “Whether it’s during the early stages of putting a house up for sale or helping them close escrow, clients want you to use your extensive knowledge on their behalf.”
Promptly respond to calls and inquiries. It’s impossible of course to take every phone personally or reply to every email the minute it’s sent. Customers understand this. What they don’t understand are delayed responses to their questions and inquiries – in most cases, anything longer than 24 hours– and this more than anything can sour an otherwise healthy relationship. Get back to people as soon as possible. If a concern can’t be immediately addressed, promise to respond soon with the information they need.
Listen closely. “Your clients may not always know what it is they want,” LeBlanc notes. “They depend on you to listen to what they tell you and to use your knowledge of the industry to address those unarticulated concerns. This means paying close attention during phone calls or in-person conversations, so you’re better equipped to guide customers toward their desired goals.”
Embracing innovations in technology is as important as ever, but nothing will ever replace the human touch. Says LeBlanc, “Clients hire you for your knowledge, skills, experience and ability to provide quality service at every stage of the process. Don’t let them down.”