Good Customer Service in Sales

Good Customer Service in Sales

Excellent Customer Service in the Meaning of Sales

Good customer service skills don’t come from one department. The tone of great customer service should be prevalent throughout a company. Often, initial communication happens between sales representatives and prospects. What is customer service in regards to sales? Sales reps reap the benefits of customer service every day by maintaining polite communication and problem-solving for clients. In turn, prospects become clients, departmental customer service assists positive energy, great word-of-mouth ensues, and new leads are generated.

When managing a sales team, it’s necessary to share a good customer service definition in a thorough and consistent manner for your team. Because sales reps are often the first people in your company to communicate with clients, having a descriptive customer service skills list to reference will help reinforce specific practices that apply to your company and its messaging.

 

Customer Service Skills

Providing excellent customer service for each prospect can be natural for some employees — they just get it — but not all employees. There’s ambiguity between knowing what is helpful to a prospect and what makes a sales rep pushy. Here are a few things to think about when setting an excellent customer service example. We suggest taking these concepts and whittling them into an amazing customer service guide for onboarding and ongoing training.

  • Sales team definition – Define the aspects of communication you want to focus on for each sales position. Those reps in a sales support role, like a sales development representative, are going to need more learning that’s revolved around email and phone communication — For example, customer service phone tips. The same goes for managing sales reps of an outsourced sales team. Providing excellent customer service from the sales side of things starts by designating certain traits to each role of the sales team organizational structure.
  • Initial and follow-up contact – Before jotting down the common industry practices with initial and follow-up contact, think about what worked for you in your career. That experience is relevant experience. Use those contexts to educate your reps. They can also be used in sales messaging as similar situation cases.
  • Presenting – Consider the communication differences when presenting in-person or over the phone. Technology is a big factor; screen sharing over a phone call and presenting with a projector are completely different, but both have benefits. How do you approach asking questions or organizing points for each type of format?
  • Customer service tips and sales manager tips – Incorporating quick tips and quotes into learning is a great way to retain information. The attribution of quotes to great customer service stories makes information memorable. Incorporate great customer service quotes into learning material. As time progresses you can update content on a whim to replace the customer service quotes with ones said from your own employees. Having an easily accessible document of go-to advice (tips) for reps to reference will eventually be referenced less and less and for good reason. Ease of organization and access to materials subtly encourages frequent reference. As materials are frequented, information is retained, and those go-to customer service tips become a habit.

Make sure each of your reps is conditioned with customer service duties. Retaining this information takes initial and ongoing training. A sales team without it is an underperforming sales team.

5 Customer Service Tips for Sales

Sometimes sales reps are so focused on getting a customer to sign on the dotted line that they lose sight of the customer’s journey. However, the best sales reps embody key skills that are important for both sales and customer service. Because the customer’s experience starts with the sales team, it’s important to remember different types of customer service.

Know…everything
From products to the prospect, there are plenty of areas of expertise for a sales rep. First, it’s important to know as much as possible about the potential customers so the rep can deliver a custom demo or experience that addresses the customer’s wants and needs. Additionally, if a sales rep wants to earn respect and be seen as an expert, they should know everything about the products or services they’re selling. Potential customers will appreciate their level of knowledge which can be a difference maker between closed lost and closed won. 

Follow up
In sales, there’s a fine line between persistence and pestering. Continuing to call and email a prospect without knowing why they aren’t responding is ineffective. If you promised to follow up with a prospect but have yet to hear a response consider taking a different approach. When it comes to following up and the relationship between sales and customer service, it’s important to keep the customer’s preferences and communication style in mind.

Shorten your response time
According to customer service statistics 2019, 90% of customers rate an “immediate” response as important or very important when they reach out to a company.  This is a link between customer service and sales. Just as they customer service team should quickly respond to a customer, sales reps need to be quick to respond to customer inquiries for greater satisfaction and higher close rates.

Be honest
Everyone appreciates honesty and a great way to turn a prospect into a buyer is through direct and honest conversations. For example, a sales rep could advise their potential customer not to purchase a service add-on, but then suggest something cheaper that would be better suited for their needs. This proves credibility and fosters and relationship of trust at the same time. 

Say thank you
Service should always be about the customer. It’s helpful to follow customer service phone tips and ensure that every phone call ends with a “thank you,” no matter the circumstance. This will leave a lasting impression and remind the buyer or customer that they’re valued.

 

Customer Service Training for Sales Reps

A prominent issue with any kind of training is how to motivate sales. Team dynamic is definitely important in the sales team structure. Think about having a competition incorporated into the training.

With that said, it’s a heavy burden for a manager to come up with all this training material, especially when there’s already so many sales representatives to manage. But, it needs to happen. With Lessonly, we make it easy to create, organize, deliver, and track training. Simplifying these actions from the administrative side enable managers to create great content initially and pay more attention to the learning process and the employees involved. Simply put, Lessonly makes you worry less about managing the system and more about managing the people that will grow the company.

On the opposing end, learners are able to take lessons on mobile devices before a due date. We know that a learning environment that works for one employee may not be the same for others. By using Lessonly, each individual can learn in their best environment. Corporate training can be very restrictive; imagine not being able to finish a module until a computer tells you you’re done? It’s discouraging and hinders the learning experience from the start. Lessonly is learner-focused, meaning we consider the platform’s use from the learner’s perspective before we develop the administrative side of things.

In Lessonly, administrators can designate roles and assign learning lessons by scheduling or triggers. With role designation, admins can make managers in charge of a certain set of learners. Often, HR departments handle all departmental training, but that’s not the case with Lessonly. We find that many admins utilize the opportunity to let departmental managers, whether it be sales or customer service, take charge of learning for their department. This breaks up broad learning, making the content more focused.

Scheduled assigning works just like it sounds. If you’ve created great material, but don’t need to deliver it to learners for another month, you can schedule it for that. If you need to repeat a lesson for ongoing training purposes, you can do that too. Triggering lessons allow managers to assign lessons in a certain order; when a learner is done with one lesson, they receive another lesson you queued up. Learners can even set reminders to review material themselves.

No sales team member will learn information thoroughly the first time, but how to provide good customer service in sales is pertinent information to retain throughout a reps career. Lessonly allows you to set a learning foundation and path for effective learning. Learn more and get a demo today.

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    What Customers Want … And Don’t Want – A Special Article For Customer Service Week

    What Customers Want … And Don’t Want – A Special Article For Customer Service Week

     

    October 5-9, is National Customer Service Week. This “holiday” has had a special place in my heart since I learned about it back in the early 1980s. Since its inception, the focus of Customer Service Week has not been so much about customers as it is about employees. The idea is to celebrate the good people on the front line who do amazing work. That said, I want to take some liberties with the intention and expand it to recognizing the importance of an amazing customer experience. This is information you can share with everyone during this important week.

    Customers want a good experience. A big part of that is exceptional customer service. Don’t confuse the two. The experience is everything from navigating a website, to how easy (or difficult) it is to reach a salesperson, to the way a product is packaged (think about how cool iPhone or iPad packaging is), to the availability of parking spaces, to how friendly the employees are, and beyond. It includes everything. And while many people think of customer service as a department that reacts when the experience goes wrong, my definition is much broader.

    Customer service is philosophical. It’s part of the culture. Everyone, from the CEO to the most recently hired employee, is part of customer service and, for that matter, the customer experience. Every single employee has impact on either the outside customer, an internal customer, the experience the customer receives—or all three. I thought it would be interesting to get a deeper understanding about what customers want—and don’t want.

    In our 2020 Achieving Customer Amazement research report, we surveyed more than 1,000 people and asked them about what influences exceptional customer service. First and foremost, people want to be treated like a valued customer. That was the top response with more than 65% of respondents in agreement. That means treating people with respect and dignity. A customer is not just an account or transaction number. Customers are people.

    When it came to contacting what people often refer to as the customer service department, respondents appreciated when agents demonstrated knowledge and expertise. We’ve learned that there are two levels of knowledge. The first is that customers want agents to know about the products and services the company offers. They want answers to their questions and a quick fix to any problems or issues they have. In addition, customers want agents to know who they are. With all the technology available today, there is no reason that every agent—or any other customer-facing employee—can’t have access to basic information about the customer that would enhance the experience. Just knowing a little history about customers’ past purchases, buying patterns, issues, etc., can go a long way in giving agents information they can use to give customers a better experience.

    We also asked what influences poor customer service. It’s highly unlikely you’ll disagree with any of these. From high to low, the responses were as follows:

     

    ·        Rudeness and apathy

    ·        Not being treated like a valued customer

    ·        Lack of knowledge and/or expertise

    ·        Slow response times

    ·        Having to repeat information

    ·        Being put on hold

    ·        Slow transaction speeds

    ·        Not being able to use their preferred communication channel

    Finally, on this survey, we asked our 1,000-plus respondents to share three words they felt best described a good customer service experience. The winners were fasthelpful and friendly.

    Fast is about convenience, which is something customers love and even crave whether they know it or not. Convenience will set you apart from your competition.

    Helpful is about getting answers to questions and problems resolved. In the sales process, it’s about being helped and not sold. There’s a big difference. A customer saying, “They are always so helpful,” is far better than, “They never stop selling.”  

    Friendly is soft but important. We don’t have to be best friends with our customers, but we do have to create a friendly and inviting experience. A big word that comes to mind—especially as we navigate through the COVID-19 pandemic—is empathy. That’s a powerful part of a friendly experience.

    So, now you are armed with common sense information on the basics of delivering an amazing customer service experience—very appropriate for Customer Service Week. Share it with the people you work with. Take time to thank your employees who make sure your customers are taken care of. Even though the focus is on celebrating customers and employees this week, don’t stop on Friday. This is a year-long and lifetime focus. Without customers, we don’t have a business. Without employees, we can’t serve our customers.

    Follow me on Twitter. Check out my website

    I am the Chief Amazement Officer at Shepard Presentations. As a customer service and experience expert, I help organizations create amazing customer and employee experiences. My books have appeared on bestseller lists including the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, USA Today and others. In 2008 the National Speakers Association inducted me into their Hall-of-Fame for lifetime achievement in the professional speaking industry.

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      How to Measure Customer Retention

      How to Measure Customer Retention

      Get ready to do a little math. While not my typical lesson, this is very important. It’s about customer retention—which can lead to customer loyalty.

      Loyal customers are important to all businesses regardless of industry or size—large, small, B2B or B2C. Most businesses know their numbers, but do they know the right numbers? It’s easy to measure customer satisfaction at different levels. We find out how they liked our experience. We know that if they liked the experience, that is the first step in getting them to come back. The “getting them to come back” number is different than the “were you happy with us?” number.

      I’d love for customers to rate our business as a five out of five every time, but the number that is almost as important—maybe even more so—is the one that proves to us that the customer came back. That’s your customer retention number.

      If this is of interest to you—and it should be—then get out a pad of paper and a pencil. It probably wouldn’t hurt to have a calculator, either. Let’s get started.

      According to Zendesk, the customer retention rate measures the number of customers a company continues to do business with over a given period of time. It’s a percentage of existing customers that maintain loyalty to the business within that window of time.

      The formula for calculating customer retention is pretty simple. First, you need three pieces of information:

      • You need “S” – the number of existing customers at the Start of the period of time.
      • You need “N” – the number of New customers added in the period of time.
      • You need “E” – the total number of customers at the End of the period of time.

      Subtract the number of new customers added over a period of time (N) from the total number of customers at the end of that same period of time (E). That’s E minus N. Divide the resulting number by the number of customers at the start of the time period (S). Finally, multiply that number by 100 and you’ll have the percentage of customers who stay.

      In other words: [(E – N) ÷ S] × 100 = customer retention rate.

      Obviously, the closer you are to 100% the better. Very few companies can say, “We retain 100% of our customers!” But if you’re close, you’re in the zone. When you continue to bring in new customers and get existing ones to return, that’s a recipe for success and growth!

      Author:

      Customer Service Manager

      Shep Hyken is the Chief Amazement Officer of Shepard Presentations. As a professional speaker and best-selling author, Shep helps companies develop loyal relationships with their customers and employees.

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        15 Customer Service Strategies To Help You Deliver A 5-Star Experience

        15 Customer Service Strategies To Help You Deliver A 5-Star Experience

        Customer service can make or break a business, especially if you’ve had a hard time gaining and retaining customers. Poor or unresponsive service can turn away even the most loyal shoppers, which significantly affects your company’s bottom line. Conversely, a great experience can turn dissatisfied customers into strong advocates of your brand.

        If your company is struggling, transforming your customer support into a 5-star experience can inject new life into your business. Not sure where to start? Try these 15 tips from the members of Forbes Coaches Council.

        Forbes Coaches Council members offer their advice on delivering better customer service.
         PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE INDIVIDUAL MEMBERS.

        1. Engage Customers In Your Improvement Efforts

        There is little point in improving customer service at the boardroom table without the input of your customers. As consumers of your product or service, they are the ones best placed to help you shape and test new approaches. Engage them in your improvement efforts and reward them for helping you become better at helping them. – Lisa Schmidt, Worksphere

         

        2. Shift Your Mindset About Customer Service

        Customer service can be tough as you are often dealing with the angry and upset. A daily reminder that “We help our customers solve problems and make their day” can help those on the front line diffuse the tension and create a lifelong ambassador. – Bruce Merrell, Vistage Worldwide, Inc.

        Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only community for leading business and career coaches. Do I qualify?

        3. Lead By Example

        Outstanding leadership creates outstanding performance! Lead by example. Have an excellent attitude, self-awareness and respect. Create pride for the business through clear communication, instruction and boundaries. Implement consistent training, fair pay and treatment, and focused processes for all staff members, thereby streamlining operational success. – Sharesz T. Wilkinson, The Speech Improvement Company

        4. Focus On Good Communication

        Effective communication is your secret weapon for developing and strengthening the relationship between an organization and its customers. Every experience, every conversation and every interaction that the people in your organization have with your customers contributes to the overall feeling your customers will have about the company itself. So treat every customer with courtesy and respect. – G. Riley Mills, Pinnacle Performance Company

        5. Aim For Speed In Resolving Problems

        In today’s global world, contacting customer service to solve an issue can feel like traveling into a big black hole. Will I get a reply? Will it be a person, an answering machine or a bot? Will they be able to resolve my problem? By far the best 5-star experiences I’ve had have been via live chat with a real person on the company’s website. That’s because I get the problem solved—fast! – Gabriella Goddard, Brainsparker Leadership Academy

        6. Learn From Other Industries

        An easy and powerful way to completely transform your customer experience is to learn from other industries. Where have you had a 5-star experience lately? What specifically made you feel that way? Sometimes it’s as simple as taking the time to really hear the customer, and other times it’s simplifying the process. By looking to other industries, we step out of old patterns and set new standards. – Elise Montgomery, Coach Elise Montgomery

         

        7. Measure And Reward The Right Things

        Customer service levels are strongly influenced by metrics and measures. When a business is struggling with service levels, it is critical to review how employees are evaluated, incentivized and measured. As an example, if your business is focused on speed of customer resolution or time on the phone, this may be a disincentive for a qualitative conversation and robust troubleshooting. – Faith Fuqua-Purvis, Synergetic Solutions LLC

        8. Create A Community, Not Transactions

        Too many businesses focus on sales and credit card transactions. Business growth comes from identifying the core group of customers who are or could be buying repeatedly and creating a community with a shared purpose driven by the brand. – Jane Anderson, Jane Anderson

        9. Surprise And Delight Your Customers

        It’s one thing to give great service, just as you promise and as your customer expects. The next level of service is giving thought to those things that your customer is not expecting and that would truly delight. It doesn’t have to be expensive. Focus on personal attention. For example, add a handwritten note to deliveries. Send a follow-up, personalized message or call after your interaction. – Daphna Horowitz, Daphna Horowitz Leadership

         

        10. Start With Small, Manageable Initiatives

        I know it seems counterintuitive, but sometimes companies get overzealous with customer service initiatives. The goal should be to get a team aligned around one to three initiatives that are manageable. Instead of fighting complaints, take the time to understand the concerns of customers. You might have team members in the wrong roles or a process problem. A complaint is an opportunity to make it right – Maresa Friedman, Executive Cat Herder

        11. Use Artificial Intelligence

        AI has the power to transform customer service. Use chat bots, search, automated emails and more to better serve customers. – Gene Russell, Manex Consulting

        12. Build Customer-Specific Profiles

        Each customer is not a number, but a human—and a voluntary member of a brand. Although collective data is appropriate for trends, a customer profile (e.g., CRM system) is also useful in helping us understand the unique experience that particular customer has received. From products purchased to activity and customer complaints, this visibility can maximize a customer’s loyalty and ROI. – Corey Castillo, Truth & Spears

         

        13. Increase Touch Points For Deeper Client Engagement

        By increasing client “touch points” for employees across the length and breadth of the organization, customer service is enhanced. Often when clients only engage with the sales and support staff, there is a disconnect with the rest of the value chain. Regular client interactions with manufacturing, logistics, technology and R&D teams can help with insights and create initiatives for improving service. – Krishna Kumar, Intrad School of Executive Coaching

        14. Prioritize Employee Well-Being And Organizational Fit

        Customer service is critical in the business world. One way a struggling business can transform their customer support or service into a 5-star experience is to find out if their employees are working in areas where they’re the best fit. Employee psychological well-being and organizational fit are important components of employee job satisfaction and organizational growth. – J. Ibeh Agbanyim, Focused Vision Consulting, LLC

        15. Interview Your Biggest Fans

        Years ago, on faith, I asked a few of my senior-level clients to say something about my company. I really had no idea what they would say. They started talking and we recorded it. They said nice, unique things that at one point made a tear come to my eye. If you find out what your top clients love about you, you can share it, capture it and use it to inform your customer initiatives. – John M. O’Connor, Career Pro Inc.

        Author:

        Forbes Coaches Council is an invitation-only, fee-based organization comprised of leading business coaches and career coaches. Find out if you qualify at Forbes Councils.…

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          4 Lessons in Customer Service From the Real Estate Industry

          4 Lessons in Customer Service From the Real Estate Industry

          Interact with a few successful real estate agents and you’ll discover one consistent thread between them: they’re all skilled at customer service. As someone who works in another profession, there are a number of lessons you can learn by studying how they handle this important aspect of business.

          4 Customer Service Lessons You Must Learn

           

          It doesn’t matter your industry – you’d do well to spend a day riding around with a top real estate agent in your market. Simply being a fly on the wall will give you a chance to see how they treat their clients, as well as how their treatment positively influences their business. Here are a few of the lessons you’d likely discover:

          1. Always Pick Up the Phone

          A real estate agent’s phone rings all day, every day. As tempting as it may be to ignore a call, leading agents make a point to pick up the phone as much as they possibly can. Having a real person answer the phone speaks volumes and ensures a positive relationship.

          Even if you can’t personally answer the phone every time someone calls your business, you should have someone who can. An automated answering system might save you a little bit of time, but it removes some of that personal touch your customers want. Even if you have to pay an hourly employee to sit by the phone, it’s worth every penny.

          2. Provide Specialized Content

          It’s impossible to provide outstanding customer service in today’s business world without having some sort of online presence. Furthermore, you need more than a basic website. You need to supply your customers with specialized content that answers questions and provides tangible value.

          Check out agent Michael Flynn’s website as an example of what it looks like to provide specialized content. Notice how all of his content is centered on Pierce County, Washington – his target market. The specialized nature of his content keeps his clients coming back for more.

          Can you provide specialized content to your clients? Instead of location-specific, your content may be pain point-specific or price point-specific. Whatever your customers want, that’s what you need to provide.

           

          3. Let Empathy Guide Decision Making

          It’s easy to get cynical when you’re dealing with emotional people all day every day. Successful real estate agents know this better than anyone, yet they tend to be the most empathetic people around. Regardless of how many times they’ve dealt with the same issue in the past, leading agents are willing and able to put themselves in the shoes of their clients.

          Being empathetic doesn’t make you weak. Instead, it helps you connect with your customers. Even if you feel like the customer is wrong, you need to think about the situation from their perspective.

          “Studies have shown that people judge an experience based on its most intense point and its end. In customer service, that means ending each interaction on a high note so customers come away feeling great. That may mean solving the problem, it may not,” entrepreneur Gareth Goh says. “I have personally had experiences where the service rep was unable to accommodate my request, but I still came away with a good feeling because I know she did everything she could and she genuinely cared about helping.”

          4. Be Patient

          Patience is huge in customer service. Real estate agents – especially those who work in residential real estate – have to be super patient. There’s no purchase decision that’s more emotionally charged than buying a house. As tempting as it is to say something like “make up your mind already,” agents patiently and carefully walk through the decision making process with their clients.

          In your own business, there’s tremendous value in being patient with your customers. While it takes some discipline on your part, patience ultimately fosters a stronger connection between you and your clients. It also makes them feel cared for and understood – something that’s especially important in service-based businesses. This is probably something you’ll have to continually work at in order to eventually master, but the benefits far outweigh the inputs.

          Prioritize Customer Service

          Did you know that 81 percent of companies that deliver excellent customer service outperform their direct competition? In other words, if you commit to providing outstanding customer service, you’re going to see results.

           

          A real estate agent stands no chance of being successful if he doesn’t place a heavy emphasis on customer service. Keeping clients happy and engaged is half the battle. Whether you’re in retail, ecommerce, a service-based business, or anything in between, learning how to master customer service will all but guarantee growth. Now’s the time to refocus your attention.

          Author:

          CustomerThink

          Larry Alton
          N/A
          Larry Alton is an independent business consultant specializing in social media trends, business, and entrepreneurship. Follow him on Twitter and LinkedIn.

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          Excellent Real Estate Customer Service with 7 Must-learn Tips

          Excellent Real Estate Customer Service with 7 Must-learn Tips

          Customer Service

          Real estate is a customer service industry. The way you interact with and assist your clients determines how long you can last in this career. Statistics show that poor customer service is the main reason many real estate agents lose their clients. Customer service is a highly valued concept in business. When it comes to real estate, however, it is slightly different – you are not directly paid by your clients.

          Despite such a difference, high-grade customer service allows you to head away from competitors, whereas a poor service only puts your reputation at stake. The highly competitive market of real estate urges real estate agents to employ effective strategies to enhance the quality of their customer service. Are you ready to stand out above others? Here are some simple, yet excellent tips for having exemplary customer service. 

          How to Improve Customer Service? 

          Know the Market

          Customer Service

          Most buyers and sellers make their decision not only based on personal needs and preferences but also based on market forces. As the first step to have a reputable, outstanding customer service, you must know what your clients seek after. Gather information on highly demanded real estate services, demographics, average prices, market conditions, comparable listing in the immediate neighborhood, and other pertinent social, political, and economic factors that can help you give better advice to your clients.

          Put Clients’ Needs First 

          Customer ServiceCustomer satisfaction is your most valuable asset. Though earning profit is a top priority for a real estate agent, it does not mean that clients’ demands or needs can be ignored. To make your clients happier with your service, show genuine care following a few simple but effective strategies such as holding meetings on time, listening carefully and patiently to what they are talking about, replying to their calls or emails as soon as possible, not interrupting the conversation to answer personal calls, etc.

          Create a Memorable Experience 

          For many people, home-selling or buying can be a complicated and stressful process. What distinguishes a seasoned agent from a mediocre one is the level of expertise as well as positive personality traits. True experts know how to resolve and make the best of an unsatisfactory situation.

          Ask your clients what is important to them and steer the conversation to those areas. To relieve their anxiety, show them what skills and qualities you have. For higher-income clients, of course, you need to provide a higher level of services. Ask your clients about their personal life, send birthday cards and gift baskets for special occasions, follow their pages or profiles on social media, and so forth.

          Learn How to Communicate Effectively 

          Customer ServiceWhen it comes to real estate customer service, communication competence is the king. The ability to get the necessary points across is the fundamental of good real estate customer service. As a real estate agent, the ability to communicate effectively, clearly, and confidently is a requisite for you.

          Being good at face-to-face communication is not enough; you need to be proficient in talking on the phone, sending properly worded emails, and making use of social media as well. Communication is not only about using impressive words. Speak and write honesty, clearly, and concisely. Your clients surely want to get informed of all ins and outs of the process, but most people do not tolerate wordiness. Do not beat around the bush; get right to the point and tell them what they need to know.

          Establish a Spectacular Online Presence

          Customer ServiceSocial media has become a necessity for many businesses, real estate included. A static online presence, however, can’t make any positive changes in your number of sales. Only posting your listings online does not suffice; you need to get connected with your clients where they spend most of their time. To establish a notable online presence, you need to realize the prospects’ actual needs, know their search habits, and be active and available on popular social media.

          USP is the Key

          Unique Selling Proposition (USP) refers to a marketing tactic that lets your clients know what benefits they will get if they start doing business with you, how you respond to their needs, and what qualities distinguish you from other agents. In this method, not only do you talk to your clients about what you do but also you tell them why you do it. 

          Both digital and print are great marketing channels to create a ferocious USP. For example, as you are updating your website or social media account, you can send real estate brochures to the local prospects at regular intervals to remind them about your presence. 

          To achieve the highest level of clients’ satisfaction, you need to employ a couple of genius tactics that touch their hearts. Understanding your clients’ individual needs, describing the unique features of your business, and keep them in the loop about the unique aspects of your service that can positively change their lives will help you appear prominently in your marketing campaign. 

          Offer Professional Consultations 

          Customer ServiceWhen people ask you for help, don’t just come out with pat responses to their questions. To set yourself apart from the competition, make helpful suggestions that can increase the chance of sale – for example, sprucing up the appearance of the house or staging the property before photography. Giving honest, professional answers to sellers’ questions helps you stay front of mind with them and keep them satisfied throughout the selling process.

          Not only the tips themselves but also the feedback coming from implementing them can help you refine your customer service strategy and take your business to a higher level.

          Author:

          Leila Dindar

          We hope you find this content from www.agentprint.com useful. Please share your views with us.

           

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            The 10 Commandments of Great Customer Service

            The 10 Commandments of Great Customer Service

            Customer service is an integral part of our job and should not be seen as an external extension of it. A company’s most vital asset is its customers. Without them, we would not and could not exist in business. When you satisfy your customers, they not only help you grow by continuing to do business with you but they will also recommend you to friends and associates. The practice of customer service should be as present on the showroom floor as it is in any other sales functions and pertinent in the overall company environment.

            The 10 Commandments of Customer Service 

            Know who is the boss. You are in business to service the needs of customers, and you can only do that if you know what it is your customers want. When you truly listen to your customers, they let you know what they want and how you can provide them with good service. Never forget that the customer pays your salary and makes your job possible.

            1.Be a Good Listener: Take the time to identify customer needs by asking questions and concentrating on what the customer is really saying. Listen to their words, the tone of voice, body language, and most importantly, how they feel. Beware of making assumptions, thinking you intuitively know what the customer wants. Do you know what three things are most important to your customer? Effective listening and undivided attention are particularly important on the showroom floor where there is a great danger of preoccupation, looking around to see to whom else we could be selling to. 

             

            2. Identify and Anticipate Needs: Customers don’t buy products or services. They buy good feelings and solutions to problems. Most customer needs are emotional rather than logical. The more you know your customers, the better you become at anticipating their needs. Communicate regularly so that you are aware of problems or upcoming needs. 

            3. Make Customers Feel Important and Appreciated: Treat them as individuals. Always use their name and find ways to compliment them, but be sincere. People value sincerity. It creates good feeling and trust. Think about ways to generate good feelings about doing business with you. Customers are very sensitive and know whether or not you really care about them. Thank them every time you get a chance. 

            4. Body Language Is Key: On the show floor be sure that your body language conveys sincerity. Your words and actions should be congruent.

            5. Understanding Is Crucial: Help customers understand your systems. Your organization may have the world’s best systems for getting things done, but if customers don’t understand them, they can get confused, impatient and angry. Take time to explain how your systems work and how they simplify transactions. Be careful that your systems don’t reduce the human element of your organization.

            6. Appreciate the Power of “Yes“: Always look for ways to help your customers. When they have a request (as long as it is reasonable) tell them that you can do it. Figure out how afterward. Look for ways to make doing business with you easy. Always do what you say you are going to do.

             

            7. Know How to Apologize: When something goes wrong, apologize. It’s easy, and customers like it. The customer may not always be right, but the customer must always win. Deal with problems immediately and let customers know what you have done. Make it simple for customers to complain. Value their complaints. As much as we dislike it, it gives us an opportunity to improve. Even if customers are having a bad day, go out of your way to make them feel comfortable.

             

            8.  Give More Than Expected: Since the future of all companies lies in keeping customers happy, think of ways to elevate yourself above the competition. Consider the following:

            What can you give customers that they cannot get elsewhere?

            What can you do to follow-up and thank people even when they don’t buy?

            What can you give customers that is totally unexpected?

            9. Get Regular Feedback: Encourage and welcome suggestions about how you could improve. There are several ways in which you can find out what customers think and feel about your services. Listen carefully to what they say. Check back regularly to see how things are going. Provide a method that invites constructive criticism, comments, and suggestions. 

             

            10. Treat Employees Well: Employees are your internal customers and need a regular dose of appreciation. Thank them and find ways to let them know how important they are. Treat your employees with respect and chances are they will have a higher regard for customers. Appreciation stems from the top. Treating customers and employees well is equally important.

            Author:

            The Balance Small Business

             

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            Customer Service Is The New Marketing

            Customer Service Is The New Marketing

            Customer service is the new marketing. This statement may sound suspect coming from me, a customer service consultant; it sounds like an example of “when you have a hammer, every problem looks like a nail” thinking on my part, or even the “drunk looking for his keys under the lamppost because that’s where there’s light” phenomenon.

            But if you consider consumer behavior and thought patterns today, you’ll realize that it’s incontrovertibly true. People have lost their faith in gimmicky and overstated mass marketing campaigns and place more stock today in what they experience directly with your company, what their friends have experience, and what the people they listen to online have experienced.

            Shutterstock

            Which means that:

            Every return you handle seamlessly and thoughtfully is marketing.

            Every repair you make for a product that proves defective, even after the warranty has expired, is marketing.

            Every time you provide a “wow” customer service experience, adding emotional transportation to the experience of your customer, it’s marketing. (There’s more from me on wow customer service here and here, plus some wow-inspiring examples here and here.)

            When you assist a customer’s family members, even though they’re not directly your customers (like my travel agent did recently for my aging dad), that’s marketing.

            ****

            A well-designed customer experience is also marketing:

            • A warm and inviting entrance experience.

            • A seamless exit experience, and a payment experience that doesn’t slow customers down.

            • FAQ’s that are actually helpful.

            • Self-service that actually works.

            So, it’s time to ask yourself: How’s your marketing, your newly-defined marketing, going so far?

            If the answer is “not so well,” or “We’re not really sure,” it’s time to get to work, to look at the customer service and customer experience you provide, whether in person or digitally, at every step of the customer’s journey,and revamp it, as need be, until you can answer confidently in the affirmative.  You’ll be amazed what a difference this makes to your bottom-line position now, and its sustainability, looking forward.

            Author:

            Forbes

            Live Content: Micah Solomon Speaking Customer Service, Company Culture, and Innovation from Keynote Speaker Presentations

             MICAH SOLOMON

            Follow me on Twitter or LinkedIn. Check out my website or some of my other work here

            Customer experience consultant • customer service keynote speaker & webinar host • training • executive content creator and ghostwriter • influencer • company culture •

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            What Really Matters in Real Estate Customer Service

            What Really Matters in Real Estate Customer Service

            Defining excellent customer care seems like a no-brainer. We assume the generics: constant communication, a sense of hand-holding, going above and beyond for the client. For the customer though, data suggests they’re looking for something else entirely.

            So, let’s frame the picture and dive into what really creates positive experiences for homebuyers and sellers.

             

            Is Your Customer Service the Wrong Kind?

            In 2013, CEB Global conducted a massive survey into the world of customer service. What they found startled them. People did not become more loyal, nor did they refer the business more, when the company exceeded their expectations. In other words, going above and beyond – giving them the white-glove treatment – didn’t increase referrals or loyalty.

            What they discovered was customers were looking for an effortless experience.

            When it comes to customer service, people are looking for help to fix an issue. In real estate, that means helping buyers find the right home. It means helping homeowners sell quickly and for top dollar. They only turn to their agent when they need help. They already have tons of tools at their disposal, i.e. real estate websites, sold listing data, comparative market analyses.

            When contacting an agent, their mindset is: Please just solve the problem and let me get back to what I was doing before.

            If you follow up with those homebuyers and sellers a couple years down the road, how much more business are they bringing you – the ones where you exceeded expectations? Data suggests they have the same economic value as those where you met expectations.

            Homebuyers are looking to move into a new home. They want their agent to help and make the experience effortless. They don’t need to be “wowed” to refer your business or talk about the positive service. They just want their expectations to be met.

             

            The Cost of Bad Customer Service

            In a world where competitors are only a click away, customer service really is the ‘new’ marketing. So much of the real estate industry is dominated by referrals, reviews, and general word-of-mouth. Any wrong hiccup could cost you both current business and future business.

            News of bad customer service reaches more than twice as many people as praise for good service experiences. Telling their stories (even the negative ones) has been made easy with real estate portals like Zillow/Trulia’s agent reviews and other websites like Yelp. Each rating impacts your SEO, which further influences the willingness of others to do business with you.

            Losing any referral will cost you. Consider this statistic from the White House Office of Consumer Affairs:

            Real Estate Customer Service

            Remember, for every customer who takes the time to comment, 26 other customers remain silent. If you hear about one negative experience, do everything in your power to remedy the situation. It’s more valuable to keep their business than to let it go.

             

            How Technology Can Help Customer Service

            Expectations have risen over the last decade. The power of the internet and mobile devices has created an environment where people demand personalization. As we noted before, CEB Global found the more customer touches someone has with business representatives, the more disloyal they become.

            Reducing the amount of communication for real estate shoppers starts with technology, and the data they offer. Measuring online user behavior has never become more important to the strategy of customer service. Think about Homebuyer John. Which scenario do you think he would gravitate towards:

            • “Hey John, my name is Bob. I’m a real estate agent, so how can I help you?”
            • “Hi John, I noticed you were looking at homes around 300k. Is that correct? I’ve got a few properties that I think would be great to see.”

            By knowing which real estate someone is interested in, by looking at their behavior, you can immediately start a conversation they want to talk about. It’s a conversation that doesn’t require effort explaining what they’re looking for. Instead, it’s natural, effortless, and leaves a positive note in the person’s mind.

             

            The Key Factor in Customer Service

            Reducing effort on the consumer side is your trump card to excellent customer service. It’s the area that won’t cost you an arm-and-a-leg to provide, and it’s the place where people stay happy (enough so to write about it). Those who can improve the effectiveness of their customer service and match it to today’s needs will ultimately win out over competitors.

            Real Estate Customer Service

            Abraham Lincoln said: “Whatever you are, be a good one.” If you’re dedicated to helping people find their next dream home, focus on delivering the customer service people expect. Doing so will generate referrals, 5-star reviews, and provide brand lift.

            Author:

            Boomtown ROI

            Steven Trice  


             

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            Customer service tips for real estate.

            Customer service tips for real estate.

            It is demonstrated that the percentage of the clients lost in a real estate is actually due to the bad customer service. When a real estate does not manage to create a good customer service, there is always the risk to lose a lot of sales.

            Moreover, a real estate should never lose so many sales because of the bad service towards the clients or because of the low rate of assertiveness.

            A real estate is a company and an organization in the same time and that is why a real estate agent or the responsible person on the first contact will be the external link.

            That person, represented by a real estate agent or any other person who works in the real estate, will become the figure, the voice and the image of the real estate agency. If his/her achievements are correct then the result is positive for the real estate.

            On the contrary, if the behavior is inappropriate or ineffective, this will negatively affect the real estate´s image.

            Because we are aware of the importance of the customer service inside the real estate, we need to add that element in the business´s strategy before the opening of the real estate. After that, once we have opened the real estate, we need to focus on the necessary settings for the proper customer service policy in order to make the real estate more effective.

            It is highly important that any real estate defines the type of customer service policy to apply and to manage to implement it effectively, taking into consideration the competences and the strategic plans.

            This will help the real estate achieve the solving of any conflictive situation which could happen with a client. In the same time, that customer service policy of a real estate should be characterized by certain terms of organizational behavior.

            Each member of the real estate should adapt to the customer service policy adopted by the real estate and they should also understand the individual behavior which will directly affect the agency.

            The clients of the real estate will always create a link with the real estate by 3 means: personal contact, by phone or by email. It is highly important the customer service policy of a real estate to follow these aspects, because from that point, the real estate could distinguish the three ways of contact with the clients.

            These three important elements require a special and specific use in order to get satisfactory results.

            Anyway, all these means which help us to manage the customer service should be effectively implemented right from the beginning and if the members of the organization are not qualified, they should get a minimum knowledge.

            Not all persons count with a high rate of assertiveness or do not know how to efficiently use their own social abilities and that is why it is very important for a real estate to detect who of the members are best qualified and less qualified.

            A very important aspect regarding the customer service of a real estate is the management and solving of the different problems and conflicts that may occur inside the real estate. These problems should never affect the link between the clients and the real estate.

            If there were to be a problem with one of the real estate´s clients, this should be right ahead solved recreating the link between them and the image of the real estate should never be seen as damaged.

            When the people who work in a real estate achieve high levels of assertiveness, will always be able to manage any type of situation that may occur between them and a client. Of course, the experience of every member is very important in this subject.

            The real problem of a real estate is not the client that might create a conflictive situation but the real problem is when the real estate is not counting with members that could manage well those situations.

            This aspect is much more recurring and it gets a higher priority, because there are also some interpersonal links created and in any real estate, these links are converted into economic losses or winnings.

            The key elements in customer service.

            In order to get an effective customer service, the real estate agency needs to take this into consideration:

            • Plan and establish a customer service policy which will eventually become an organizational model to follow.
            • Supervise that policy of the real estate in order to make more changes which will convert it into an effective methodology.
            • Analyze (in the weekly meeting) the possible conflictive situations which might occur with the clients.
            • Identify the weaknesses and the strong points of every person inside a real estate related to the customer service, so to get a higher rate of collective efficiency.
            • Both the first contact with the client as the managing of the sale and post-sale should be taken into consideration as parts of customer service of a real estate.
            • Implement specific programs of knowledge related to customer service in order to achieve a real estate much more productive.

            For a real estate is essential to have an effective system of customer service, which should contain certain aspects in order to achieve a high level of effectiveness.

            When a client of the real estate feels he was not well attended, because of the bad attention or the indifference, he will directly break all the relations with the real estate agency.

            When a client breaks up with the real estate on the basis of a bad treatment received from any of the real estate employees, there will appear some long term negative consequences for the real estate.

            For a real estate, losing a client implies a huge problem, mainly because the clients are the main resources of the real estate and because that client might convert into the person who spreads around bad advertisement.

            The worst advert a real estate could get is the annoyed client. This is not an exaggeration, if we take into consideration the means of communicating that nowadays exist through the different platforms of the Internet.

            If the clients spread good feedbacks, this is an important fact for any real estate and if the contrary happens (the clients might talk badly about the services offered by the real estate agency), it will turn into a negative aspect.

            One of the main principles inside any marketing strategy for a real estate is that it is highly important the above not to happen. If the client wants revenge, he could easily harm the strategy for development of the brand of the real estate.

            There are a lot of cases in which the clients harmed the business image of the real estate. There are cases in which the clients even damaged the economic state of the real estate. The responsible persons of a real estate should take into consideration the fact that the only thing a client needs is a computer connected to Internet so he could easily start an effective negative campaign.

            On the other hand, we should also take into consideration that the users of Internet are very supportive with this kind of campaigns of discredit and people join rapidly when there is a strategy to discredit a business than if it were a positive one.

            The Internet users and the social networks reflect a high level of solidarity at the moment of sharing contents in order to report a bad service coming from a business.

            The best way to avoid those facts to happen is to implement a customer service policy focused on the generation of positive synergies, which will eventually be converted into a huge value added to the organization.

            A SATISFIED CLIENT COUNTS FOR THE REAL ESTATE AND A DISCONTENTED CLIENT DIMINISHES ITS VALUE.

            A real estate client can forget a small error if he is well- attended, but this is not available if he has been treated with indifference and hostility. In order to avoid this, it is essential that all members have this in mind.

            The customer service is a very important factor which should be taken with the best professionality. The clients of a firm must be professionally attended, no matter what investment they bring to the firm.

            An effective customer service policy should follow certain elements. A real estate should not attend well its clients only because they invest a lot of money. An effective customer service policy is good for any type of business, no matter what product might offer.

            Even a customer who finally decides not to buy, might convert into a generator of good synergies for the real estate only because he has been well treated and attended.

            The client of the real estate agencywho will not buy a property, might serve as a link in order to get another client that for sure will become a potential buyer.

            Anyway, apart from the strong customer service, a real estate should also use this slogan: “never underestimate a client of the real estate and all clients should be treated with the same professionality”.

            Key aspects of the customer service policy.

            In order to get an effective customer service for the real estate, there are 2 fundamental areas to take into consideration:

            • The ways of communication which are set with the client.
            • The modalities of attending the real estate´s client.

            Due to the extension required by the development of those concepts in order to get an efficient explanation, we will start touching the different ways of communication which we need to establish with the client and in the next article we will analyze those main aspects.

            Ways of communicating with the client.

            • The greeting is the first contact.

            A client should feel welcomed into a real estate and we should never treat him with indifference. The greeting is the first contact of the client with the real estate.

            A greeting should be cordial and warm and without any excess or intention when it comes from the members of a real estate.

            • How to talk to a client of the real estate.

            The words and phrases used are essential because they will have an unconscious effect on the client of the real estate. Every action creates a reaction and so the words are converted in action.

            The key is to know how to foresee a reaction of the client. We must always transmit certain values to the clients: professionalism, seriousness, compromise.

            • Veracity and precision of the info given to the client.

            It is very important to transmit true info to the client of the real estate, because he needs to feel the agency is really sincere and honest. A real estate should never leave the impression it is hiding something from the client.

            Most of the times, the client of the real estate might feel he is about to be tricked, when in reality, the person that attends the client does not know how to get an effective verbal communication with the client.

            • The emotional state is important for the customer service.

            The internal state has a very important role at the moment of creating a verbal interaction and both the client and the responsible person to attend him inside the real estate will get conditioned by them.

            When we attend a client of the real estate, we need to forget the emotions and feelings and understand that the client is not responsible for our private problems.

            The smile must always be present on our faces when attending a client and should become the active element in the customer service policy of the real estate.

            The first contact without a smile brakes away with the basic principles of assertiveness.

            • The non-verbal communication with the client.

            Our body talks and transmits info to the client of the real estate and both verbal and non-verbal means of communication are two important factors. We should take into consideration that the bidirectional communication is also applied to the verbal communication and this is very important in order to get to understand the noon-verbal signs that the client sends.

            The body position, the gestures and the movements of the body in general, should be coherent with the message we send to the client of the real estate.

            Just a single gesture that is wrong interpreted by the client, it might convert into the difference between the selling or not of a property.

            • Written communication with the client of a real estate.

            The written communication with the client of the real estate should contain some verbal and non-verbal elements, but there are other factors to be taken into consideration. It is important to mind every word and phrase written, both in an email as when we use any other means.

            The written word should be interpreted as an action, too. Right from the beginning, in this frame of the written communication, it is recommended to pay attention to orthography and grammar, but also to other elements which affect directly or indirectly (type and size of the letter, the structure of the written message, used colors, general editing of the content).

            Methods to attend the customers of a real estate.

            Continuing with the same subject, we will analyze other linked aspects:

            • The telephonic communication with the client of the real estate.
            • The attention directed towards the clients of the real estate agency.

            The telephonic communication with the clients.

            The customer service by phone requires the use of all previous aspects. This is very important to be taken into consideration because the client of a real estate is not physically present and that is why we should focus on the main aspects of a verbal communication, leaving aside the non-verbal communication.

            If the person of the real estate does not manage the verbal skills without the non-verbal ones, he should center on generating sympathy, a very difficult task for those who don’t have the skills to do this.

            For an effective telephonic communication with the client of the real estate we need to understand these key aspects:

            • Model of telephone attention.

            Answering the phone of the real estate should be something included in the main customer service policy and for this, we will need to create a pattern model which must be used by anyone in the real estate.

            No matter what models we choose, this could be a simple example:

            “Costa Invest Real Estate, hello, this is ( tell your name). How can I help you?”

            • The name of the real estate.

             The name of the agency should go first when attending the phone calls in a real estate. This shows professionalism and confirms the client the person with whom he really wants to talk to.

            • The greeting when answering the phone.

            Say “Good morning” or “Good evening” it´s the basic greeting inside the assertiveness keys. In the same time, this is a sign of courtesy and good education. On the contrary, not doing that, will delete the possibility of showing some good values to the client.

            • Introduce oneself.

            The person who attends the phone calls in a real estate should say his/her name because this personalizes the attention offered and it offers more confidence. It is very important to personalize the attention of the client of the real estate and the person who establishes the first contact should turn into a facilitator of the client.

            We have to transmit to the client of the real estate a good mood and receptivity because most of the times, that receptivity turns into a key element in order to generate an instant positive rapport.

            What we must never do when attending a phone call.

            • Informal greetings.

            We must never use an informal telegram type greeting such as “Hi” or “Yes, please”. These types of greetings to use when attending a phone call inside a real estate are forbidden and it is shameful that there are lots of real estates that still use this style.

            The person who takes the calls inside a real estate should bear in mind that he/she will become the voice of the real estate and will be the responsible of several values to share. Most of the times, the start of a selling process depends on her.

            • Impersonal voice tones.

            Use an aggressive and impersonal tone. This is badly negative when talking to a possible client and this will damage the real estate interests. We must always adopt a calm and constant tone and never modify it.

            If the client of the real estate contacts us in order to complain for something, the person who attends him must never answer likewise, but on the contrary, he should try to make the client change his mood.

            • Take care of the words.

            There are several words to be avoided when taking a phone call because they could provoke negative reactions from the client.

            We should not forget words are actions and they always provoke reactions, aspect that conditions the link between the client and the real estate.

            The words we should avoid when talking to a client on the phone: should, must , you have to, you should have, etc.

            The person who takes the call should always be the facilitator and a problem solver and should never become an obstacle in the communication.

            • Do not give excuses.

            When we attend a client on the phone, we should not ask for forgiveness and we should always say we do not know anything about that subject on which the client is complaining. Not knowing something is not a problem.

            The bigger problem is when we say we do know when we actually do not. Professionally, there is no shame to not know some functional things inside the real estate and we could always ask for help or even pass the client to another person of the real estate.

            If that were the case, we should never leave the client the sensation of trying to avoid him or trick him.

            • Focus on the client.

            We must never attend a client of the real estate showing interest to another thing. When we talk to a client we must pay attention only to him.

            It is highly important to achieve a high level of concentration with the client of the real estate and we should try to process all the info the client brings and so register every detail into our minds.

            In this way, we could easily achieve a more effective customer service.

            • If you promise something to the client, you should accomplish it.

            If a client calls to the office because he wants to talk to a certain member of the real estate, the person who attends him should pass the message to the correct member.

            In the same time, if the person who attends the client needs some time to manage the task, then the former should call the client. The phrase ¨I will get back to you¨ is a promise so it should be accomplished.

            Not accomplish the promise is one of the worst and negative factors which the real estate could transmit to a client.

            Attend a client of the real estate in person.

            The present communication with the client of a real estate requires pass through all the previous characteristics of the verbal and non-verbal communication.

            We should take into consideration that in that background, the verbal communication has its relevant role and so we need to focus on the main aspects of that communication, in order to achieve an effective customer service inside the real estate.

            We should not forget about the fact that there are other aspects related to a certain type of communication and apart from becoming the voice of the company, the person who attends the client turns into the image of it.

            The main elements to be taken into consideration in order to achieve a good and effective customer service for the client who is present inside the real estate are the following:

            • Courtesy.

            Courtesy is a feature which is transmitted right from the beginning and it is linked to the confidence we need to show to a client. We should never forget the first impression counts the most.

            • The personalized attention.

            The personalized attention is one of the most valued elements by the client of a real estate. It is important to call the client by his name (without crossing the limits) and using a certain rate of sympathy.

            If the client of the real estate feels that the person who attends him is helping him and has the best intentions, by no means, he will feel discontented.

            • The efficiency.

            The efficiency of the customer service of a real estate is achieved only with the feeling of security sent to the client and with the help of the good time management. The security is achieved through information and the qualification of the members of a real estate.

            These are the most important elements in order to transmit confidence and professionality to the client. Managing time properly is also important, because the clients do not want to lose their time and when they have their doubts and questions solved, they feel a professional environment.

            • The image.

            The image of the person who attends the client of the real estate is also very important and transmits a series of non-encoded data. By non-encoded data we refer to those aspects that are showed to the client right from the beginning.

            Those aspects will condition the client in a sense or another instantly. The specific subject of the personal image is based on several conditions among which we could easily notice the look and the neatness.

            Without wasting the time talking about stereotypes, the members of a real estate should be aware there are some not written social rules of what to wear in a company.

            The implementing of a well-defined customer service policy of the real estate allows the real estate to get a higher level of efficiency, increment the positive synergies with the clients and create more solid commercial links for the real estate.

            Author:

            Costa Invest

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