Most human beings get into a groove in life…and stay there. “This is the way we’ve always done it,” is a common sentiment in more than a few offices.
But what if the way you’ve always done it isn’t working for your customers?
Here is the alternative. You are entrepreneurial and innovative and constantly seeking to make changes and updates to your systems. Good for you for being forward thinking.
But what if the changes aren’t making the experience better for your customers?
Before assuming that the “way we’ve always done it” is actually working or before you take the leap into much needed improvements in your agency, ask your customers what is working and what isn’t working for them. This information can guide your decision making, so as you are adding innovative technology and streamlining your processes, you are doing so in a way that enhances the customer experience.
Here are some ideas for getting more deeply in touch with your customers to improve everyday processes and communication as well as to gather input for major upgrades.
Ask questions up front
As a regular practice, having initial conversations with each customer to ascertain if there are any concerns, issues or special needs for them or their clients can help your staff plan ahead to ensure those needs are met throughout the transaction. Invite your staff to brainstorm a list of questions that anyone on staff can use to get the ball rolling. Make sure requests are communicated to your staff so everyone is aware of what is needed for that particular transaction.
Survey agents, buyers and sellers
You want to make your real estate agents and loan officers happy, but the only way to do that is to make sure their clients are happy! Conducting regular surveys and reviewing those surveys on a monthly or quarterly basis with your staff can help you make incremental improvements.
Encourage online reviews
In addition to your own review process, invited your customers to provide online reviews of your agency. More importantly, make sure you are monitoring what people are saying about you online and in social media. If you get complimentary reviews, thank the reviewer. If you get bad reviews, don’t push back! Instead, respond to the reviewer with empathy and invite them to talk offline to resolve the issue.
Pull together a focus group
Making a big change? If you are planning more dramatic changes that will impact how you interact with your customers, invite a few of your best customers to a focus group conversation. Real estate agents work with a lot of service providers during the complicated steps of a real estate transaction. They have a great view of what helps move the process forward most efficiently and where the pitfalls are. They can have insights that can help you make more thoughtful decisions about how to improve your processes or add upgraded technology that is going to best serve their needs and their clients’ needs.
They will appreciate being asked for their input!
Like you, Alanna is dedicated to improving customer communication and service that leads to greater client satisfaction. We listened to our clients when we launched our new Forms Processing feature this year to help our clients improve their data handling functions so you can focus on growing your business. Call us if you want to learn more!