Real estate is a service business. REALTORS® are service professionals. Are MLSs doing what it takes to support their subscribers with the service needed to help every agent and broker deliver the best service they can to the homebuyers and sellers? With today’s new MLS of Choice environment, REALTORS® DO have a choice about what MLS to work with. It’s time to take a serious look at the norms of service quality for MLSs today.
Focusing on customer service isn’t just a warm and fuzzy idea. There’s real money in providing great customer service. According to a study conducted by Accenture in March, 2016, companies are losing $1.6 trillion per year resulting from bad customer service.
We see some holes in the methods that MLSs deliver customer service. Here are three proven ways to improve customer service so that you never lose a customer because they did not get the customer service they needed.
- Easy to reach someone live
Most MLSs offer work day hours that require the member to wait on hold for several minutes after working their way through a maze of prompts to push buttons on their phone.
Why not pick up the phone live and address the member by name by connecting your phone system to your membership management program. Who doesn’t want to be addressed like this?
Hi Marilyn! Nice to hear from you! How can we help you today?
Let the subscriber tell you in plain English what they are looking for and then address the issue in real-time.
Have a multi-functional support team that can answer a billing question, schedule a training class, answer a question about the MLS system and accept a suggestion about how to improve one of the services offered all in one place.
If the support team needs to elevate the issue, pass the subscriber over to another live person who can answer the question in real-time.
Once the call has concluded send a thank you note with a link that answers the question that was asked in case they need an easy reference at another time.
- Reward systems aligned against customer service excellence.
Some MLSs we work with incentivize every staff member to pursue ever-higher customer satisfaction numbers. When they achieve the stated goal for the year, everyone benefits. This is a great way to ensure that everyone in the company owns the idea that the customer REALLY is always right!
Celebrate great customer service moments. They can happen at the front desk, in the kitchen at the MLS office, via text, social media or on the phone. Share the big wins with the entire staff and discuss the big losses so that everyone can get better at servicing the needs of your members.
- Solicit and prioritize suggestions from customers
Customer Service is not just responding to clients when they are having issues but also having a system in place to listen to their suggestions. By doing this, we can then make changes to our products and services that for things our clients want.
It is more important now than ever for MLSs to improving their customer service.
There are systems today like USERVOICE for example, that allow you to solicit suggestions from a variety of sources and then ask your customers to help prioritize the enhancements to your product or service to help you to focus on the ideas that will do the most to improve customer satisfaction.