HAVE YOU EVER WALKED INTO A BUSINESS OR A STORE AND THOUGHT, “THAT PERSON IS JUST FLAT OUT MISERABLE.”?
Called somewhere and it was like you woke the person up from a sound sleep? Went to order at a restaurant and it seemed like you were bothering them to get something to eat? This happens all too often and I believe that everyone has been affected by the miserable, annoyed, sleepy person.
First impressions are everything. You have 30 seconds to create that impression and after that it is too late. Whether it is answering the phone with a smile on your face, or standing up and greeting someone when they walk in the door- everything you do is about customer service. This is one of the most important things that can be the difference between a company succeeding or failing. People do not realize a smile and a handshake can go a long way, for a long time.
Recently I walked into a leasing office and the leasing consultant never made eye contact with me or stood up and greeted me. She actually had her cell phone in her hand and nonchalantly said, “Hi”. She was visibly much more interested in texting or playing on her phone than she was in me. Obviously my first impression of her was not very good. When I asked her if she had any apartments for rent, she finally stood up and handed me a flyer and stated that someone would be with me shortly. She promptly went back to whatever was holding her attention on her cellphone. After that I simply decided to leave. I didn’t ask for a tour, nor did I want one at that point. I truly felt like I was bothering her to do her job. If she is too busy to help a prospective tenant, what is to say she wouldn’t be too busy to help if I decided to move in? What if I called in an urgent work order, would it be too big of a hassle for her to take care of?
In property management, customer service is the only service that you can provide one time and one time only. Customer service is the core of it all. If your customer service is on point then you should have minimal problems with your customers and residents. Why not do it right the first time? Why put time and money into something that may fail over something you actually have control over? A smile! Customer service is the least expensive form of marketing. It creates your image and holds up your reputation. Someone once told me that service is the only product that you cannot recall. Think about that for a minute. If a dishwasher was to break you can always replace it/ or recall it, but if your maintenance tech walks into the apartment rude and annoyed you can’t recall the way that made you feel. Residents need to feel at ease, and comfortable with their choice of housing. Remember there are a million homes so why should they rent yours?