OpinionAgent

What Harvard taught us about customer relationships 30 years ago

A home purchase should be treated with the same energy and care as a major corporate account
  • Post-transaction engagement must be personalized, responsive and uniquely planned.
  • Sending a just-listed postcard to a recent client is ineffective at best and disrespectful at worst.
  • It sounds counterintuitive, but no client is ever completely satisfied. A lack of complaints means that your client thinks you’re unable or unwilling to solve a problem.

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

Theodore Levitt, a Harvard business professor and editor of the Harvard Business Review, wrote how the "ongoing nature of services and the growing complexity of technology" will change the seller’s focus from "simply landing sales to ensuring buyer satisfaction after the purchase." It's an apt summary of the challenges agents face in 2016: As technology erodes traditional value, they must add value in new ways. But Levitt wrote those words in 1983. Why are real estate agents only now catching up? The nature of transactions might help explain the delay. Different industries, consistent products In the 1980s, sales contracts in many industries -- manufacturing, industrial supply, even books -- changed to include protocol, education, repairs and support. Salespeople, Levitt then argued, must manage the customer relationship throughout the ongoing delivery of those services to ensure repeat purchases. In contrast, residential real estate transactions haven’t changed a...