ESTAS Insights Newsletter February 2021

Insight Feature - By Simon Brown

5 Reasons Why Customer Service Is So Important To Your Agency

5 Reasons Why Customer Service Is So Important To Your Agency

Last month I wrote about the difference between customer experience and customer service. I got some great feedback from agents, conveyancers and brokers alike and often the response was “sure I get what customer service is but how does it really impact my business”.

Whenever I get this question I’m always reminded of a conversation I had with Grenville Turner who was CEO of Countrywide at the time. It was The ESTAS Awards back in 2012 and the champagne was following!

Countrywide had done particularly well picking up a number of awards for excellent customer service. Grenville took me to one side and explained that Countrywide had just held their own internal awards where he handed out trophies to those managers who had made the most profit during the course of the last year. He explained that as he sat at his table at The ESTAS he saw the same managers going up on stage receiving trophies for excellent customer service and that’s when it was confirmed to him 100% that there was a direct correlation between the profit that their branches made and the level of customer service they delivered. So here are five more reasons why delivering great customer service is key to the success of your business.

1. Word-of-mouth advertising is the most valuable form of marketing known to mankind.

You absolutely cannot buy word-of-mouth recommendations – they are priceless. You may not have the chance to do business with one of your clients for years to come but in the meantime they are the best sales team you have. They’re out there every day talking with friends, family or work colleagues or communicating with them on social media. Get your service spot on and they will recommend you for years to come.

2. Excellent customer service improves public perception and builds trust in your brand.

Your care passionately about your reputation so you absolutely have to ensure a high quality customer service. Not only does this result in positive reviews and recommendations, but it helps to establish your firm in the minds of anyone searching for other products & services or information related to property. Remember great service equals trust.

3. You’re more likely to retain your staff for longer.

Staff pay careful attention to how a firm treats its customers. When they see their employer treating customers as they would expect to be treated themselves, it motivates them, makes them proud to be part of the team and more likely to work for you harder and longer.

4. Customer Service is More Important than Price.

We see this whenever consumer studies or surveys are reported in the media. They always find that customer service is ranked higher than price. So if you get the service delivery right clients will be willing to pay for more for it.

5. Great Customer Service stops ‘Buts’ in customer reviews.

Customer service has a massive impact on reviews and recommendations. If you have been difficult to do business with, then when a customer gives your business a review there will always be a “but”. When someone gives you a recommendation and adds a "but" a negative comment always follows and that effectively changes what started as a recommendation into a reason not to use your services.

ESTAS Key date update

28th February - Deadline for clients to submit a review Midnight on 28th Feb is when the window closes for ‘award’ reviews for the 2021 awards. As long as you have a minimum of 15 reviews from sellers & buyers or 15 from landlords or tenants (if you are entering one of the letting categories) your branch will be eligible for the ESTAS Shortlist for 2021.

May - ESTAS 2021 Shortlist Event To make onto one of the ESTAS shortlists is a great achievement in itself so throughout May we will be hosting a series of virtual events when we will announce the regional and national shortlists for agents, conveyancers and brokers.

22nd October - ESTAS 2021 Forum & Awards The biggest day in the UK residential property industry ever! For the first time ESTAS will bring together the cream of estate agency, property lawyers and mortgage brokers to see who has won the most coveted awards in property in 2021.

Previous Newsletters:

Don't be fooled! Customer service and customer experience are not the same.

Recently some people in the industry have said to me that customer service is not relevant anymore, today apparently it’s all about the customer experience or ‘CX’ as it’s often termed – sounds much sexier doesn’t it? However I would argue that customer service and customer experience are NOT the same thing. Customer experience is all about improving the customer journey [...]

Read more
Are you old school or new school?

Over the years I’ve spoken to and met thousands of estate and letting agents, one theme that comes up on a regular basis when I start to ask agents about where or how they collect customer feedback is - “We don’t, we’re old school, all our business is through word of mouth or walks through the door. This may very well have been true in times gone by but the world has moved on and through technology customer expectations [...]

Read more

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