Service Matters

By Sharron Richardson, VP Broker Services, EXIT Realty Corp. International

It is not unusual for a company to have a customer service department. They are the front line defender of a company’s reputation, offering friendly and professional training and support with the goal of quick resolution. They are in a position to cultivate trust, loyalty, and satisfaction among customers. An expertly trained and experienced support team can make all the difference in the world to a customer who needs help, organically creating the kind of advocacy that advertising dollars can’t buy. But the opposite is also true. An inexperienced, disinterested support team can erode customer loyalty. What does that look like?

  1. Not resolving the issue during the first contact
  2. Poor listening skills
  3. Lack of personalization
  4. Not answering the inquiry immediately
  5. Not resolving the issue quickly
  6. Making the customer do any work to resolve their issue
  7. The support rep not having the knowledge or authority to resolve the issue

Let’s look at each of these in turn.

  1. Not resolving the issue during the first contact. This is perhaps the most critical element that defines a successful support interaction. By the time a customer contacts support, they have reached a point where they are frustrated. All they want at this point is to have their issue resolved quickly and efficiently.
  2. Poor listening skills. I think I speak for all of us when I say we’ve experienced customer service personnel who are clearly reading from a script. Neither their questions nor answers relate to the specific inquiry. It’s a maddening experience for the customer.
  3. Lack of personalization. Each customer has invested in the company. As such, they are all customers. But they are not all the same. They are not their customer number or their associate number or franchise code. There is a person behind those numbers and the savvy customer service team understand that they deserve to be treated as individuals.
  4. Not answering the inquiry immediately. Regardless of what the method of contact is – email, phone, Live Chat, text – the customer deserves to be responded to immediately. If the phone goes to voicemail or the email or text goes unanswered or if the Live Chat conversation lags, it’s a poor experience and leads to dissatisfaction.
  5. Not resolving the issue quickly. Even if the support rep has responded quickly, if they keep the customer waiting on hold, neglect chats for minutes at a time, or ask the customer to repeat their issue several times or to multiple people, the experience will be viewed as negative.
  6. Making the customer do any work to resolve their issue. Whether or not the issue is user error, a bug, misunderstanding, or miscommunication, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that the support rep ensures that the company is the one who does the work to rectify the issue. Asking a customer to do some research, check their records, call back, or make any more effort when they’re already stressed is unacceptable.
  7. The support rep not having the knowledge or authority to resolve the issue. Most, if not all, of us have had the experience of communicating with someone who either doesn’t understand their own product or service or must escalate it to a manager, causing the interaction to be longer than necessary and often causing the customer to explain repeatedly what the issue is. This often occurs with bots which have programmed responses and are so maddeningly repetitive and inept that the customer eventually just types “live agent” repeatedly in frustration.

This can all be summed up easily: Quick, efficient, personal, friendly support is what will win over a customer.

Remember the quote by Maya Angelou, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” Providing support and service that checks all the boxes will make the customer feel relieved, satisfied, and grateful. You’ve created an advocate for your company.

Today, support inquiries come from people who are self-directed and tech-savvy, folks who require a great deal of help and are not comfortable with technology, and everyone in between. Expert support teams can immediately identify where the customer sits on that continuum and adjust their efforts accordingly. EXIT Realty’s Franchise Support representatives are highly trained, knowledgeable support personnel, expertly versed in EXIT’s proprietary programs, resources, and processes. More importantly, they intuitively check all the “exceptional” boxes naturally – that’s just who they are. At EXIT Realty, our customers – our broker/owners, agents, and administrators – are not just a number. They’re the people who invested in EXIT and deserve our undivided attention. EXIT’s Franchise Support team boasts an over 90% first contact resolution rate, providing answers quickly and efficiently, getting franchisees, agents, and administrators back to work. They are real people helping our customers in real time, and an integral part of what makes EXIT Realty stand out in the industry.

Get in Touch

  1. I can honestly say that I get so frustrated with other business customer service providers and personel due to the fact that our folks are so good at their job that everyone elses people seem so incompetent. Our folks are so personable and well trained that I am always confident the person that answers is the person that will help me solve our issue. What a great group of people.

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