Every real estate business deals with dissatisfied customers from time to time, but how you deal with them can make the difference in a loyal customer and someone who is out there bad-mouthing your company. A customer with a problem or a complaint should never be met with a pat answer, an uncomfortable silence or worst of all an attitude from a team member representing your company.
If you are able to convert anger to satisfaction, you have the chance to win real customer loyalty. An irate customer is an incredible opportunity. Every employee who may come into contact with your customers should be taught how to handle these situations, and be able to do the following:
1. Identify The Real Problem
When a customer feels his issue is being dismissed or that the person he is in contact with is not going to help resolve the problem he can go from calm to outraged in no time. When this happens, the key is to listen carefully to what the customer is explaining and think about his worst case scenario and what story he has created in his mind. There is usually a silent conversation, generally not revealed by the customer, for example, he is out of feature sheets and has three showings today, he asked for feature sheets yesterday. In his mind he is paying for a service that includes feature sheets, his home is less likely to sell to these three potential buyers without feature sheets, he is anxious to get his home sold, and someone has dropped the ball preventing his home from selling. If the person listening to the complaint can pick up on this silent conversation and neutralize it quickly, the customer can be reassured and the problem can be solved through quick remediation.
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2. Put Yourself In The Customers Shoes
A customer in distress wants to know that his pain is felt completely by the company he believes is the cause of the distress – regardless of whose fault the problem really is. They want to be understood not placated. Most importantly interrupting the customer’s complaint before he finishes is condescending and will likely only serve to escalate the customer’s frustration and dissatisfaction. Empathy is the winning solution.
3. Overlook The Drama and Focus on Resolution
The first thing your team member says to the customer should be “OK let’s see what options we have to get this situation resolved right now”. Customers like to know there is more than one solution. By ignoring the rhetoric and focusing on fixing the problem, the situation can be diffused quickly leaving the customer feeling good about your company.
This type of customer care has a direct impact on a company’s bottom line. Businesses just like the humans who run them are not perfect, mistakes are bound to happen, and they can be quickly forgotten when they are handled properly.
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