RE-Thinking the Customer Service Business...
Today, while going through a very busy car wash, the attendant who is wiping off my windshield indicates that they have a' new service' They are going to check your windshield for dings & dents PRIOR to taking your car through the car wash.
I'm surprised & even a little impressed...
HOW PRO-ACTIVITY IS BEING RE-DEFINED...
Being Pro-Active is a term under-going metamorphosis. When I started my real estate business almost 15 years ago, pro-activity meant that you quickly took care of the problem once it was brought to your attention. It was considered ill-advised to go 'looking for trouble'! Prior to getting in line for the wash, I was not concerned about dings and dents on my windshield. But now that they mentioned it...
What do you think? Would it have been wiser for car wash attendant to NOT say anything and ONLY bring the issue to my attention if they noticed a problem?
Some additional questions come to mind. Was the local car wash really concerned about dents to my windshield or were they simply trying to protect themselves from complaints in the future? Had their equipment been known to damage windshields in the past? Questions which were non-issues to me prior to the mention of their 'new service' offer.
WHY FOLKS ARE ANXIOUS...
Because unpleasant surprises are increasingly common, consumers have taken the management of expectations into their own hands. Real estate consumer experiences are no exception. Take a moment to view the entries on this site. How we manage the customer service experience will determine the future value of our industry.
Our Board recently introduced an Integrity Pledge. The 3 page document details an exhaustive list of items that brokers and agents who sign it will do to serve the customer. You can view the detailed document here. It's a valiant effort to deal with the fact that there is an increasingly unbecoming lack of professionalism in our industry. I've signed the pledge. I want to raise the bar.
RAISING THE BAR:
However, questions arise: Are we inadvertently bringing attention to the fact that our minimum service levels contain elements which the average consumer assumes are a part of the package or were not concerned about prior to the reminder. After all, I wasn't concerned about my windshield until they mentioned it.
Do consumers rightly assume that professionals will do what's right by virtue of the term? Or is it prudent to pro-actively define the level of expectation?
On the other hand...does signing a pledge better serve as an appropriate attempt to forestall the impact of negative ratings which may paint a distorted picture without presenting the other side of the story? Will it serve to effectively raise the bar by bringing into clear focus intrinsic elements of customer service?
Our Integrity pledge is aspirational in nature and enforcement rests with the managing broker. The hope is that the aspiration will serve as inspiration for our agents to do a better job of service.
I'm curious...how is your company or board dealing with the new challenges of customer service? Are you being pro-active or hoping these consumers will loose this 'desire' to share their experiences with with the whole world?
Picture courtesy of sappymousetree on flickr
Picture of weigh lifting courtesy of jontunn
Lola Audu, is the Designated Broker & Owner of Audu Real Estate. Our company specializes in helping people buy and sell homes in the greater Grand Rapids, West Michigan area. You can contact us via e-mail @ email@example.com or by phone at 616-791-0511. Thanks for visiting our blog. Here are links to some of our most popular posts for you to enjoy!