04 Feb 2012

Are your clients Satisfied? I hope not!

“Satisfaction” Isn’t Good Enough Anymore

“I’ve got to make my job easier! I’ve got this great computer software that emails all my new and existing clients for me! It’s awesome! I just do what I want to and the computer keeps up with my past clients and sends automatic emails and sends listing updates to new clients. I don’t have to do a thing! I love technology! If they see something they like, they just email me or call me and off we go!”

Computers, smart phones, software and lead generating websites are doing our prospecting and follow-up for us these days. Essentially, we’re giving our clients and future customers what they are looking for…but are we really?

I went online a few months ago and I was looking for a home-site for my future home. I looked on an agents’ website and searched for a few listings. I was prompted to log-in and sign up for listing alerts. Curious, I signed up. Little did I know, I was about to be barraged for life with listings that no more pertained to me besides the fact that they were in Texas! When I got the first email, I thought to myself, “Awesome! I’m getting a personal email from the agent with the inside scoop for a home-site I can get my hands on.” Nope. Not the case. At all.

I received an email with so many home-sites in central Texas that I didn’t know what was what. I deleted the email and even today…I get two emails per week with junk listings that have nothing to do with anything I want. Every time I see them pop up, it makes me upset. I never got a call. Never got a personalized email. The owner of the software is just hoping that I will find something I like and email him back.

While these programs are very helpful, we are still losing the game. If you are looking for new sales, YOU are your best bet to make it happen! As a Realtor, you are a “connector”. You have an immense “sphere of influence” or people that you know or have met over the years. Are you leveraging your “sphere of influence” to its maximum benefit? The people you need to be doing the majority of your marketing towards; are your current and past clients. They are going to provide you the best source of new sales! They are happy and satisfied clients who have had a compelling experience with you.

What’s the difference between “Satisfied” and “Compelling Experience?”

Just a “satisfied” client is not enough anymore. There are too many realtors out there who are putting themselves in front of your clients that you’ve sold to before. Have you ever seen a name that you recognized come over the MLS and realize that you sold that home to those people a few years back? Why didn’t they call you? Why did they call someone else to help them? The answer is; you didn’t keep up with your past clients in a way that kept you at the forefront of their mind. Your customers were “satisfied” because you found them a home. To make it “compelling”, you need to take it to the next level.

The “compelling experience” doesn’t end when they close on their home. It continues with personal emails, calls, texts, notes and mailed letters and newsletters that let them know that you’re still thinking about them. Yes. The automated systems work great too, but you have to mingle that with a few personalized contacts throughout the year. Even a personalized text on Mother’s day that says you were thinking about her and wanted to drop her a note. Even a handwritten Christmas Card or just a “Dropping in to say, Hello!” note.

One of the best examples was when I sent my clients over the last 6 months a special gift that cost 99 cents. I take copious notes and knew their beloved family pet’s names. I went to Petsmart, wrote their pet’s names on a personalized dog tag with their new home address and sent it addressed to their pet. My phone rang off the hook with grateful and excited phone calls! They told their friends and I was able to sell many of their friends and family members’ a home. But that experience compelled them to pick up the phone. It works!

These are the small things you can do that take “satisfaction” to the next level which is “compelling experience”. If they have an experience with you and the experience continues throughout your real estate career, you’ll get calls when their friends and family need a Realtor. What your clients really want is Reciprocal Loyalty; not endless prospecting.

Endless prospecting means: you are just calling and asking for referrals all the time and you’re not calling or doing the personalized little things that let your clients know you care.

Reciprocal Loyalty means: you’ve provided value for them from the moment you met, through the buying or selling process, past closing and up to this very date today. If you were to call that client, they would thank you for the last note you sent or friendly email. They would be glad to refer any business to you!

If your clients are just satisfied; they may not remember you in the future. If they had a compelling experience, they’ll refer you to everyone they know!

In the book, “What Customers Really Want” by Scott McKain, a survey was done by a particular company on Customer Satisfaction over a 5 year span to see why clients choose another company over their own. Here are the reasons why with percentages:

  • 3%- they moved away and picked a different company
  • 5%- Had a friendship with another provider
  • 9%- Chose the competition/better marketing
  • 14%- Dissatisfaction with the product the company provided
  • 68%- Put off by employee’s attitude

Only 4% of the people surveyed reported their dissatisfaction to the company and 91% of those said they would never use that particular company again. 68% of clients who called in to that company looking for someone to help them, decided not to buy because the representative did not provide a compelling experience. Are you providing a compelling experience to everyone that you meet, talk to on the phone, email or help buy or sell a home? If they’re not raving about their compelling experience, take a step back and re-assess. Put time aside once a week to make contact with a few of your past clients. They’ll be so glad to hear from you. And it can lead to sales!

Just recently, I volunteered for the MDA Lockup and I called everyone I knew including my past clients. In that one day, I received two listings and three buyers because my past clients knew someone that could use my help at that very moment. Take the time to give your current and past clients “Reciprocal Loyalty”. It’s better than any lead software! Call me for follow-up ideas. I’ll be happy to give some really unique ideas that will have your clients picking up the phone to thank you and give you referrals!

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