In life we are all customers of someone or something and we tend to always gravitate back to the places where we have the best experiences. If you have a bad experience while shopping at Walmart, but head over to Target the next day and have a positive experience while shopping there, you are way more likely to return to Target more often than Walmart. As you have good experiences you will become a loyal customer to that company or brand.
You need to ask yourself what is it that has you coming back to the same places over and over again. When you think about it, what makes them the best or makes you the best at your job? It’s more than just being good at your job, it has to do with the way you are interacting with your customers.
I was recently reading a blog from customer service guru Shep Hyken, and he told a story about a doctor friend that he has and asked him what made him great. His doctor friend said “All the surgeries are pretty much the same, with the exception of the occasional problem. But, what’s not the same are the patients. Each of them are different. They are all people and need to be treated as if they are the only patient I have.” It is not that he is one of the best surgeons, but how he acts towards each person that he treats that makes him the best. We can take this example and really run with it. If you want to be the best apartment community that is always hitting high occupancy rates, you need to make sure that you are providing top notch customer service. Amenities are only going to get you so far, but how you treat someone that comes in to lease or complain about a neighbor will make your prospective residents and current residents raving fans.
As you provide the best customer experience it will have a trickle down affect with how you are running your property. As you make more residents raving fans you will decrease turn over and this will save you money and time. It is so much easier to have someone quickly sign a renewal online than to have to bring in a new prospect and get through what could be hours of time spent on someone you can’t even guarantee will lease.
Providing an outstanding customer experience can be challenge, but if you follow these simple rules you will almost always walk away with a new raving fan:
1. It is better to be kind than right: Everyone wants to be right, but what does it accomplish if you’re a jerk in the process? Residents tend to be more responsive to someone who is always concerned with being kind rather than someone who is always concerned with being right.
2. No matter the type of day you are having you should always be friendly: A follow up of the last rule, but a little more all encompassing. They say serving others (such as residents) is a great way to forget about your problems, so always be friendly, no matter what.
3. Treat people how you want to be treated: The Golden Rule. Pretty self-explanatory.
4. Don’t be afraid to show your lighter side: Yes, be professional, but residents also want to see that you’re human and have a sense of humor.
5. Keep your word: You are your word. If you talk the talk but don’t walk the walk, your residents will never trust you.
Now go out and knock the socks off your customers. If you do so it will make your job more fun and you will become a more successful person because of it.