First things first: Customer Satisfaction, the 'user exeperience'

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with John Henry Masterworks Design International, Inc. 13013

I recently wrote about the effect on superior customer service by local restaurant staff.  As I plowed through some high profile projects in the last 30 days I saw the results of my efforts at doing everything possible to please my clients.

Here are my thoughts on this subject.

Ten things you can do to ensure customer satisfaction and a user experience that will be the best advertising you can buy and keep them coming back for more!

1.  Explain upfront EXACTLY what your services will entail and make sure your client understands what you will and will not do.  Contract terms need to be pointed out if you suspect they will not get the ins and outs.  Don't gloss over anything that you know will create a 'situation'.

2.  Explain constantly WHAT you are doing and WHY.  Why it needs to be done, how your client will benefit, etc.  Offer a realistic timeline on what is going to happen when.

3.  Followup often, call or contact even though things may be going well to inform your client on the progress of your work.

4.  Do not assume everything is going well! Find out if they have any questions or concerns along the way.  Do not allow prolonged periods of time to elapse without touching base.

5.  Under promise, overdeliver.  Make your clients pleasantly surprised with your expertise.  Keep them happy at all times.  Give more than expected.  

6.  Do not leave loose ends untended.  Wrap things up properly and make sure your client is well served in all phases of your agreement.

7.  If the work is going to take a long time, or longer than expected, explain the contingencies that are creating a diversion in the expected time schedule.  Bring up contract terms that impinge on your work and that may have been forgotten.  A clear contract is very important as a reference of what has been agreed upon.

8.  Get back to your clients as quickly as possible if they have questions.  Do not leave them hanging for too long.  If they are used to prompt responses, then continue on the same rate of communication.  If you let time lag then they will lose confidence in you.

9.  Use your instincts to determine how chummy you can be with a client.  Do not get too personal with anything if it does not warrant that approach.  Respond to some of their background and interests only if they mention it to you.  Don't start any conversations about any personal hobbies, effects, cars, clothing, etc. unless they mention it to you.  Keep out of their personal business and stay professional at all times.  Keep joking down to an absolute minimum.  Thousands and millions of dollars are at stake and levity is not warranted.

10.  Followup after all the Ts are crossed and the Is dotted.  Ask to make sure your client's expectations have been met and that they are pleased with the results.  Offer anything else that you can do after your contractual obligations are completed. 

11. (Bonus forwarded by Kathy Streib) We should be putting ourselves in the shoes of whom we serve to see how we can best act and improve our delivery.  If we just did this, it would seem the entire process could be seamless and satisfactory on every level. 

A satisfying user experience is paramount to the success of your business.  If the above seem onerous or over the top, and you do not address these points in your typical procedure, I would suggest trying to do as much as possible on the next project and see how it turns out.  It may seem like 'overselling' but it actually can keep a project from potentially falling apart, and you can best avoid a legal wrangle by being in timely communication during the entire terms of the agreement.

I am sure there are more points to be made here and welcome any disagreements or further suggestions.

 

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Rainmaker
1,883,786
Lottie Kendall
Compass - San Francisco, CA
Helping make your real estate dreams a reality

John, those are 10 great tips for ensuring great customer satisfaction. 

Aug 01, 2019 02:04 PM #1
Rainmaker
3,152,118
James Dray
Fathom Realty - Bentonville, AR
Exceptional Agents, Outstanding Results

Morning John,

The one thing I've found that is lacking, is that of communication.  Number 7 & 8 are vital, but sadly lacking by a lot of people

Aug 02, 2019 01:21 AM #2
Ambassador
2,974,184
Anna Banana Kruchten Arizona's Top Banana!
HomeSmart Real Estate BR030809000 - Phoenix, AZ
602-380-4886

Excellent list John Henry ! You know it seems so natural to follow this list for many of us and yet in todays world many folks simply don't understand the tremendous value excellent customer service will bring to the table.  And BTW I was absolutely blown away with the incredible video of Payne's home  Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP introduced us to - unbelievable project for you to create and see completed. Breathtaking beauty in every single detail and photo.....amazing! And it also made me a  tad sad to remember how Payne's life ended.  We still miss his uniqe style. I'm happy to know he lived in this incredidble home created by YOU!

Aug 02, 2019 03:59 PM #3
Ambassador
4,156,197
Kathy Streib
Room Service Home Staging - Delray Beach, FL
Home Stager - Palm Beach County,FL -561-914-6224

Hi John- well done. Continued communication underlies your tips. Something to add that we can all do is put ourselves in our clients' shoes. What would we want/expect if we were the client. That should help!

Aug 02, 2019 06:58 PM #4
Rainmaker
2,170,157
Patricia Feager, MBA, CRS, GRI,MRP
DFW FINE PROPERTIES - Flower Mound, TX
Selling Homes Changing Lives

Good Morning John Henry - Companies continuously spend an enormous amount of money providing training programs for employees at major corporations and also Brokerage Firms that offer real estate agent training. However, the reason why customer service doesn't get any better is that nobody out there is stating the facts as you outlined here on this blog post. Each point you made is its own golden nugget. It doesn't take a genius to read between the lines because you spelled it out clearly and concisely. 

I really appreciate your creative writing and the positive influence you are having on me. 

With kind regards,

Patricia

Aug 03, 2019 12:56 AM #5
Rainmaker
5,321,751
Barbara Todaro
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Franklin, MA
Marketing Agent for The Todaro Team

Good morning, John Henry you're the "poster child" of ActiveRain.... get your real estate license and secure the listings of all the builders in the Orlando area.... design their "cookie cutter" houses for them.... and list the homes..... THAT'S HAVING YOUR CAKE AND EATING ALL OF IT BY YOURSELF!!! 

Aug 03, 2019 03:04 AM #6
Rainmaker
3,612,261
Michael Jacobs
Pasadena, CA
Los Angeles Pasadena 818.516.4393

Hello John - Explain.  Show(Demonstrate).  Share.  Rinse/Repeat.  Recap & Review.  Your list is quite comprehensive and a good one to follow.  

Aug 05, 2019 08:20 PM #7
Rainer
288,223
Chris Lima
Atlantic Shores Realty Expertise - Port St Lucie, FL
Local or Global-Allow me to open doors for you.

Great list John. You've covered a lot of bases.Thinking about the other side, being up front and being proactive are very important and in the end can result in an "easy" transaction.

Aug 06, 2019 03:01 AM #8
Rainmaker
402,588
M.C. Dwyer
Century 21 Showcase REALTORs - Felton, CA
MC Dwyer-Santa Cruz Mountains Property Specialist

Your points outlined exactly how I like to do business!     "Ask to make sure your client's expectations have been met and that they are pleased with the results.  Offer anything else that you can do ..."

Aug 06, 2019 08:51 AM #9
Rainmaker
503,356
Diana Dahlberg
1 Month Realty - Pleasant Prairie, WI
Real Estate in Kenosha, WI since 1994 262-308-3563

Great points on this post John.  It's all about communication and treating others as we would want to be treated.

Aug 06, 2019 10:34 AM #10
Rainmaker
570,991
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

This is especially important with first time buyers--there is usually a period after inspections resolved and up until closing when a buyer can feels abandoned as you aren't in touch as much.  By staying in touch with them, telling them what to expect next--makes a big difference

Aug 06, 2019 11:08 AM #11
Rainer
235,112
Greg Mona
eXp Realty - Chandler, AZ
Professional Real Estate Representation for YOU!

This is a wonderful and comprehensive list, John. All are applicable. I would add to not assume our clients know the ins and outs of a real estate transaction. Unless you are working with a seasoned investor, most people buy/sell only a few homes in their lifetimes, usually with large gaps of times in between. Because it is our day to day livelihood, sometimes we forget this. Taking the time to explain things fully and in a timely manner can save a lot of headaches later on.

Aug 06, 2019 12:27 PM #12
Rainmaker
1,008,826
Jan Green
Value Added Service, 602-620-2699 - Scottsdale, AZ
HomeSmart Elite Group, REALTOR®, EcoBroker, GREEN

It doesn't matter what business you are in, this list is spot on!  Great job.  I saw Anna's comments and will head over to see Payne's video on Patricia's post.  

Okay watched and practically mopped up tears, for Payne and that stunning home.  Thank you so much for sharing the video images.  So very sad! You are an architectg enius!

Aug 06, 2019 05:53 PM #13
Rainmaker
1,554,922
Georgie Hunter R(S) 58089
Hawai'i Life Real Estate Brokers - Haiku, HI
Maui Real Estate sales and lifestyle info

Very well stated, and it looks like we al agree this is important to remember.  Congrats on the feature.

Aug 07, 2019 10:53 AM #14
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Rainer
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John Henry, Florida Architect

Residential Architect, Luxury Custom Home Design
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