From WAV Group’s over 20 years of fielding MLS and association customer satisfaction surveys, and from the launch of our new program the WAV Group Customer Experience Index, we have learned a lot about how to use survey results to turn a disgruntled subscriber into a raving fan. Here is a time-tested process that sometimes takes your worst critic and turns them into your most loyal supporter. 

Turn unhappy customer into a fan1. Pull a report of dissatisfied customers – Pull a report of those that registered dissatisfaction in or more areas of the MLS from your annual customer satisfaction survey. Review their responses to all survey questions to see if you can uncover the root cause of their frustration or dissatisfaction. Examine their suggestions or ideas to improve the MLS.

Then follow this proven four-step process. We have led this process for several of our MLS clients and have helped them significantly improve year-over-year satisfaction scores.

2. Effective Member Outreach – The first step is to reach out to the individual via phone and email. The higher the level of the person that reaches out to them, the better. If the CEO can take on this work, so much the better. When preparing an email or outbound call to each respondent, I reference the specific areas of dissatisfaction they mention in their survey responses and then ask if they will tell me more about their concerns and see if there are ways for the organization to address their issue. Sometimes this simple step of responding to their concern can do a lot to calm them down and make them feel better about the organization. Other times, it takes more listening to understand what the issues are and whether they can be addressed. Sometimes it will require you to discuss their issues with the Rules and Regs Committee, Compliance or even the board of directors to see if the organization is willing and able to address the concern. 


 3. Address Changes Quickly – If there are issues that can be addressed sooner than later without any policy or procedural change, just make it happen. If it’s an issue that needs to be discussed and debated, then add it to the agenda of the appropriate committee. If it’s a hot topic, call a special, short meeting with the appropriate groups to get it addressed. Once the committee or work group has brought a recommendation to the board of directors, make a decision in one meeting and move on. Don’t let issues drag on for months and months. Indecision just invites more dissatisfaction. Many times, we see a correlation between a topic of dissatisfaction and with the leadership and direction the company is taking. Better to commit to a course and move forward and refine as needed than to labor over a decision for several months. 


4. Announce and Promote the Change – Once a change suggested by a subscriber has been made, create a multi-step and multi-media campaign to promote the change via email, system message of the day and social media. Create a short video to describe the change that was made and give thanks that subscribers cared enough to make the suggestion. If it was one person that made the request, you may even want to thank them by name after you get their permission. 


5. Give Credit and Thank Those that Made the Suggestion – Once the changes are implemented, reach out to the one(s) who made the suggestion and thank them for their idea, and let them know you have made a change based on their input. Express your gratitude for their engagement and care for the success of local real estate professionals, and encourage them to make other suggestions as well. 

If you can convert some of your dissatisfied customers into those that are even neutral or slightly positive about the organization, your overall satisfaction scores will continue to improve.

Learn more how your organization can benefit from the WAV Group Customer Experience Index