hand holding scissors cutting red ribbonWhenever we conduct member satisfaction surveys for MLSs, there are many suggestions from members about ways to improve MLS tools and services.  Of course, many MLSs listen to their clients and make the requested changes.  Over time these improvements help to increase the overall satisfaction of the MLS with its members. Here’s a way to jump start the process of improving customer satisfaction.  Make sure that your subscribers know that you are listening and responding by giving them credit for making the suggestion in the first place.

Here’s a great example of this I wanted to share with you.  There were many suggestions made by their customers about ways to improve their current photo upload product.  MRIS responded to their concerns and is about to launch a new way to make it really easy to upload photos into a listing.  I’m sure they have a marketing campaign planned to help their subscribers learn about this new service, but they did something very clever in addition. They provided a “sneak peek” to one of the leading bloggers in their area, Matthew Rathburn.  He is the one that is providing the “inside scoop” to fellow agents via his company’s blog, Coldwell Banker Elite’s Inside Scoop.  Instead of MRIS telling the story about how they listened and responded to customer requests, the message is coming from a practicing agent, delivering the story with much more credibility and passion than the company could deliver without sounding self-serving.

Check out this great example from Matthew Rathburn at Elitescoop.com for clues about how to launch your next new feature.  First, Matthew took the time to produce a video describing all of the features he really likes about the new tool.  Note how we gives MRIS credit a FEW TIMES for listening and responding to the needs of their customers. This is GOLD.  Whenever your customers say you are listening, especially a member with a loud, credible voice like Matthew’s, it’s a great thing.

As a side note I would also give MRIS credit for launching what looks like a terrific new photo upload feature!  Matthew did such a great job of describing it that he convinced the viewer that the new Media Connect product is really easy to use and available for MAC users- huge for any MLS to take credit for Mac-Friendly upgrades.

Now how could you do the same thing? Step 1 – find out who the most successful bloggers are in your area.   Get to know them. Invite them to be part of your beta testing group. Every time a new feature is launched in any of your technologies or even being considered, involve this important group.  Involve them in the prioritization of new features and upgrades.  Step 2- invite them in early to see what you’re up to like MRIS did in the example above.  Step 3 – Invite them to deliver the “inside scoop” – let them be your ambassadors and let them take credit for having the early knowledge which helps them gain more audience.   Sounds like a win/win doesn’t it?

Try it – and let me know how it works. I would love to share more examples of great marketing tactics being used by MLSs!