What happened to customer service?

By
Services for Real Estate Pros with Always On Time

In today's business world, with everything as virtual as it is, all we have left is customer service.  I'm not clear why people, namely small business owners, don't realize how gravely important it is to get back in touch with their clients and better yet, potential clients. 

It's not enough to take the initial phone call, get the details and then SAY that you will get back to someone.  You have to get back to these individuals if you want your business to continue for the long term. 

I will give you an example for my rant... I'm looking for a company to provide T-Shirts that are screen printed and I am looking for a company to make a banner for me.  The banner company that I spoke with had a great first impression, took all my details and said that he would get back to me with the artwork.  I mentioned that I was on a deadline and gave him the date, he said no problem. 

Now, maybe I am being paranoid and a "picky" client, but I feel that I am lacking some customer service.  It has been almost 1 week, since I have talked to the banner company about my project and this week have left 3 messages with them to give me an update.  I need the banner by Sunday.  We are only five days away and only have 3 business days left which is what I was quoted for the printing time.  I have to say... I am an hour away from finding a new company and they will not be getting my business. 

Not only that, but the two t-shirt companies that I contacted, I have heard from neither!  One week later. 

Something to note, and another reason for this post... it's important for people in the service industry to understand, in my humble opinion that is, that not only will you loose the customer that you didn't get back to... but you will loose any business that they could've sent your way via referral.  I work with a big network of a variety of individuals and best believe none of them will know about this company and the fact that they do banners.  

It's a shame when small business can't help small business anymore and we have to resort back to using big corporations... their customer service is even more lacking, but at least they get the work done. 

Comments (3)

Jill Ballard
Intero Real Estate Services - San Jose, CA

And with our country manufacturing less and less, we are a "service" economy... so sad. It's the same with us. Just doing and average job.. doing what you're supposed to do with no frills... puts you ahead of alot. of others.

Sep 23, 2008 03:49 PM
Roberta LaRocca
Simply Vegas Real Estate - Las Vegas, NV
REALTOR®, Broker, Salesperson, NV. Lic BS.507

Jaime, I hear you. I've been involved in customer service businesses all my life, and it amazes me that with all the advanced tech today, for many their service is worse than ever before. I even see it in the real estate industry, with some agents not returning calls on their listings, or refusing to take calls and using only email. Then taking forever, if at all, or giving one word replies that don't even answer the question.  I've had listings that have only an office number, not the agent's, and has a 'voicemail to nowhere system', where no matter how many buttons you push you can't leave a message. This is how they sell a property for their client?  

In your case, this is how they sell their product? Earn your business? Get referrals? Don't think so.

I feel bad when I miss a call. When I call back, it's astounding to hear the client repeatedly thanking me for returning their call...and so quickly. Obviously they've had a lot of run around before, so pretty widespread. To me, customer contact IS doing the job. If not going to do that, it's time to find another line of work.

Sep 23, 2008 05:35 PM
Greg Gorman
John R Wood Properties - Naples, FL
Naples Florida Real Estate

Hi Jamie-

Customer Service seems to be a thing of the past. In our crasy world it's all we have to offer and so few spend any time developing their skills. Customer Service is like raising a well behaved child...it all starts at home. Thank you for raising the awareness. Give the world the best you have and the best will come to you. Greetings from Paradise.

Realtor Greg Gorman & Realtor David Burke Present Naples Florida Real Estate

Sep 23, 2008 10:21 PM