Response depends on who you call . . .

Real Estate Broker/Owner with Cornerstone Business Group Inc 0225086119

The response you get from a phone call all depends on who you call. Yesterday, I had the perfect private vs public series of phone calls, and what a difference. The first call was to a state licensing agency. My ability to see all of my license accounts in the two fields I'm licensed was not working and I was trying to find out what I was doing wrong or what we could do to combine the "like" licenses into one log-in.

I wasn't doing anything wrong as it turns out, but the rep was not able to help me because the way the state licensing agency has their website set up requires that I have a different email address for each license. I have six state licenses. The licenses are only in two occupational fields. One log-in does show two licenses. One is a trade license and the other is a company license. That's what I was trying to do for the other field of licenses. 

The other license is a firm license with three associated licenses. It's in this field that I was trying to have the state combine licenses since they all work together. But, that wasn't possible because the firm license was different from the other licenses. The irony is that all of the licenses are mine, under my name and issued to me to conduct business. Sorry, we can't help you. You'll need a different email for each license in order to access it online was the final response.

The second call I made was to a electrical product producer. This call related to an inspection on an electrical project where the inspector asked for a modification that required a very specific component that local distributors don't stock, or even know about for that matter. As soon as I got the company rep on the phone, he was effusive in his response to my call. 

He didn't know about the part either, but he asked if I had a few minutes to hang on while he went through the company asking others if they knew what I needed. I did, and he took off. About 10 minutes later, he came back with the details of the component, what it did and how to install it. He gave me the part number and told me if I couldn't find it at a local distributor to call him back. 

What a difference. One call was met with indifference, no solutions and a "why are you wasting my time" attitude. The second call was helpful, friendly and solution focused. The second call was met with "call me back" if you need more help. The first call was met with a "I'm busy, get off my phone" feeling. 

In business, clients calling your office are familiar with this same experience. The flippant call and the friendly call make a huge impact on them. Every time I need to call into the public office, I dread the call. A high percentage of those calls end in frustration. Not all private calls end as well as the one yesterday, but the odds are in their favor because they know that a call into their business helps pay the bills. The public calls know they will get paid if they provide good customer service or not. 

Be that call that encourages, inspires and causes the caller to want to call you back. Leave them with a great impression, a smile on their face and a solution to their call. Find a way to help them. I'm still waiting for a solution from another state agency that started in May of 2018. Can you imagine not being able to resolve an issue for nearly a year? I've had both good and bad calls in both sectors, but the private sector has given me many more solutions than the public sector. When your paycheck is tied to your service, your service will improve.


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Will Hamm
Hamm Homes - Aurora, CO
"Where There's a Will, There's a Way!"

Hello Mike,  You people can be so helpful to find things out for the consumer and others just think it is not their problem.

Jan 30, 2019 08:32 AM #1
Dörte Engel
RE/MAX Leading Edge - Bowie, MD
ABC - Annapolis, Bowie, Crofton & rest of Maryland

Dear Mike,

Wow! What a difference. It is nice to find someone, who is willing to find out quickly for you, despite not knowing off the bat.

Jan 30, 2019 08:35 AM #2
Chris Ann Cleland
Long and Foster REALTORS®, Gainesville, VA - Bristow, VA
Associate Broker, Bristow, VA

Some people just should not be in customer service fields.  They are put out by having to help and that's their job.

Jan 30, 2019 08:52 AM #3
Karen Feltman
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA KW Legacy Group - Cedar Rapids, IA
Relocation Specialist in Cedar Rapids, Iowa

Customer service is alive and well in some cases.  Great customer service and problem solving will earn you loyalty and referrals!  Great post.

Jan 30, 2019 10:46 AM #4
Kat Palmiotti
406-270-3667,, Broker, Blackstone Realty Group - brokered by eXp Realty - Kalispell, MT
The House Kat

When we receive excellent customer service, we will absolutely remember and return. That second company you called knows how to do it.

Jan 30, 2019 12:11 PM #5
William Feela
Realtor, Whispering Pines Realty 651-674-5999 No.

This type of thing drives me crazy.  The push one for this and 2 for that is seldom a fun thing

Jan 30, 2019 01:41 PM #6
Anne Corbin
Long and Foster - Lake Anna - Spotsylvania, VA
Serving Lake Anna & Central Virginia

I agree with William Feela. Why can't we get a live human being on the phone anymore?


Jan 31, 2019 06:44 AM #7
Amanda S. Davidson
Amanda Davidson Real Estate Group Brokered By eXp Realty - Alexandria, VA
Alexandria Virginia Homes For Sale

Mike, I genuinely dread calling the board to ask a question. They always have the tone that I'm bothering them and shouldn't be calling, it's the same when I call the DC board for something. They've gotten so bad that I've opted not to renew my license this year. Having someone who genuinely wants to help on the other end of the line always leaves me feeling grateful and it's very easy to remember who they are and what company they're with.

Jan 31, 2019 07:47 AM #8
Kimo Jarrett
WikiWiki Realty - Huntington Beach, CA
Pro Lifestyle Solutions

It depends on the person you're talking to and their experience regarding the purpose of your call. It does get frustrating when the person lacks experience or knowledge, however, not all are inexperienced and some are very knowledgeable and willing to divulge how to secure their solutions. 

I just had that happen to me today with a state agency agent support unit. I was impressed, grateful and thankful for his superior service. Yesterday was an opposite experience, so, it depends on who takes your call, doesn't it?

Jan 31, 2019 03:52 PM #9
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

It always comes down to just being able to ask the question and being willing to go out on a limb that way.

Jan 31, 2019 09:12 PM #10
Laura Cerrano
Feng Shui Manhattan Long Island - Locust Valley, NY
Certified Feng Shui Expert, Speaker & Researcher

Kimo Jarrett It really is hard to tell with some people and you really have to learn the nuances of the whole situation

Jan 31, 2019 09:14 PM #11
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

"Solution focused"--I like that phrase!!  Your experience is common--esp with some workers in the public sector.  No motivation to be customer service oriented.

Feb 01, 2019 08:38 AM #12
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

Great post and message.  I couldn't agree more.  Even while I have the flu, I'm answering texts, emails and phone calls to delay appointments, but with information that they didn't ask for.  It all makes a big difference.  Leave the caller with a feeling of being heard and answer those questions!

Feb 04, 2019 01:43 PM #13
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Mike Cooper, GRI

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