I have always been a "stickler" for customer service... I'm a firm believer that no matter how big or how small the transaction, a customer should ALWAYS feel some genuine, human interaction and appreciation any time they interface with a business. This expectation isn't limited to retail; it should be felt in healthcare, the insurance industry, and countless others including my personal favorite: Real Estate.
This past weekend, I could actually devote many of its hours to things that I wanted (& needed) to do and just a few to work. I returned home from some errands noting that I had a nice customer service experience. When asked what was so nice about it, I reflected and came up with the following: "She immediately asked me if I wanted a bag for my items (that's a whole other topic!!), but then paused after my reply, looked me right in the eye, and greeted me 'and hello! How are you today'". See? It doesn't take much. Maybe I'm a bit needy but I think that most of us just want to be seen. And heard.
Listening is a valuable & often neglected skill. In real estate, I am constantly reminded of the importance of using my hearing ability twice as often as my mouth... (yes - I'm referencing that saying that we have 2 ears & 1 mouth for a reason!). Effective listening can help a buyer's house hunt be more effective if the experienced professional is hearing what is really being said & watching body language to add to such. Effective listening can help us best determine a suitable plan to help a seller move on to their next chapter. Effective listening can help us best problem solve with the individuals on the other side of a purchase or sale. Listening can be the sole difference between a long & frustrating transaction & a smooth, more efficient one. So how does a consumer best connect with an agent who is committed to positive customer service? Interview!
Let's face it, real estate agents are a dime a dozen. SO... since there are so many choices and since a home is a huge investment to purchase or sell, here are a few things that I suggest finding out before you choose YOUR agent:
* Experience (annual transaction volume? part-time or full-time? residential or commercial real estate?)
* Typical territory (are most of their transactions in your community or a few counties over?).
* Communication style (responsiveness? Communication plan for pre-marketing, marketing, & contract phases?).
* "Vibe" (insert scene from The Bachelor here). I do dislike this word but there's something to be said for finding an agent that you can trust AND enjoy being around.
In my opinion, good customer service is dying a rapid death. This saddens me but also drives me to be sure to recognize it when I do have a good experience. As a business owner myself, this is a huge part of my mission that will only get better as time marches forward. Here's hoping your day - & next real estate experience - leaves you feeling seen, heard & appreciated.
Thank you for the visit & your comments Michael Jacobs!