Customer service is always evolving, and the learning curve is real, especially with all the unexpected challenges that have presented themselves this year due to COVID-19. Here are a few ideas to up your game and cover all the bases as we head into the second half of this year.
1. Audit materials for dated information
Policy and procedure have changed significantly, but have you performed an audit of your website, print collateral, email drip campaigns, and other customer communication tools? When was the last time you reviewed the materials that you have been sending your clients?
Instead of recreating the wheel, check out local, state and national materials that might already exist to help you communicate with customers. Remember to check with your supervisors to make sure you are using the most up-to-date information.
2. Prepare for the unexpected
Now is not the time to be rolling into appointments and showings unprepared. What’s even more important? Making sure your clients are prepared for delays. Do they have backup housing if the closing is delayed by circumstances beyond their control? Brainstorm this in advance.
Another thing that I’m seeing agents struggle with: safety gear and showing procedures. My best advice is this: Have extra gear and cleaning supplies on hand to provide your customers and others who might be involved in the transaction.
Many consumers are unprepared or unsure of what is needed for showings. Create an “on-the-go” tote that has disposable items that you can offer to clients. This is also recommended for listings if other agents are not prepared for showings. We cannot prepare for everything, but extra supplies could potentially save a life.
3. Think beyond the job
The typical 9-to-5 construct has shifted dramatically in the past few months. Agents have always juggled this balance, but now consumers are joining the struggle as well.
Remember to send calendar reminders for showings and important events. Try making a short video that they can watch when they are free about important information that they might have missed.
Something else to have on hand is a short video that explains how offers are submitted on listings along with frequently asked questions.
Do you know that a property you are about to list will have multiple offers? Make a video for buyer’s agents who are making appointments so that they know how to submit offers efficiently. Have all the commonly asked questions for documentation available in one single place online to help reduce questions and calls, and you can even email it directly to agents who are making showing appointments.
4. Have a little fun
We need more of this in our industry right now. Everyone is tired, stressed and a little uncertain. Look for opportunities to build a little more fun into your customer service.
Small gestures, like sending small children a coloring book about moving or sending a special treat for the family pup, can go a long way. Look for local activities that your clients might enjoy, and share it with them.
Create a scavenger hunt in the community, and give away a small prize for those who participate. Support artists on Etsy, and find funny cards and postcards to send out to your sphere.
If you see good news, share it. Customer service is more than just completing tasks and getting to closing — it’s about building a positive memory for someone finding their way to a new home.
Marketing and transaction go hand-in-hand with good customer service. They should all complement each other and work seamlessly together inside your brand. Set regular quarterly dates in your calendar to review systems to make sure that the quality control is where you want it to be.
Now is the time to be the agent you have always wanted to be: organized, efficient and a positive force in your local community. If not now? When?
By day, Rachael Hite helps agents develop their business. By night, she’s tweeting and blogging. Feel free to tweet her @rachaelhite.