When you’re looking to get as much repeat business and as many referrals as possible, you need to lead with truly exceptional customer service.
When I think of the times in my life I’ve experience unbelievable customer service, I remember the businesses that have gone above and beyond—giving me things I didn’t even know I needed yet.
Earlier this year, I stayed at the Four Seasons in Naples, Florida, while I was in town attending a conference. The Four Seasons is renowned the world over for the incredible service they provide, and this stay was no exception. From the person who took my luggage to the clerk at the front desk, everyone welcomed me with a smile and was genuinely excited to see me.
The amazing service didn’t stop at check-in. When I came back from working at the conference, I threw my suit and jacket on the floor of my hotel room. The next day, when I returned to my room, I found both the suit and jacket hung up in the closet. When I went to work out at the gym, someone was there to give me a towel and a water. They even checked in during the workout to give me another of each.
If you’re really looking to make an impression on your customers, take some lessons from the Four Seasons by going above and beyond—surprising people with the things they would never expect, but which they’ll be sure not to forget.
Do research for your clients.
As a service-based sales professional, a big part of your job is to anticipate what your clients might want or need and then be ready to deliver exactly that. For real estate agents, that means an awareness of the problems or unexpected costs your clients might run into.
Is the property you’re showing your client in a neighborhood with an HOA fee? If so, have that information ready. Not everyone knows how HOA fees work or what they cover, and they won’t be happy if they’re blindsided by an unexpected expense.
If you find out the fees for that particular property and providing a list of what they cover, that would be an example of good customer service. Exceptional service would be not only doing that, but also giving comparative HOA fees—what your client could expect to pay if they bought a home somewhere else in the area.
By incorporating that extra step, you’re showing your client that you’re not only committed to getting the best deal for their money, but, more importantly, that you’re looking out for them—providing the little details that they might not know about. This will go a long way when it comes time for them to buy a new home (or to recommend your services to someone else who’s looking).
Think like a concierge.
Great businesses understand the importance of personalizing service. When you make your client feel like they are getting an individual experience, they’ll feel more appreciated and walk away more satisfied.
This is why it’s so important to get to know your clients as early in the process as possible. The more you know, the more you can create a personalized experience they won’t forget.
For example, if a family has two dogs, don’t just show them the house—tell them where the closest dog park is. If they’re planning to have kids, tell them where the closest playgrounds are. Point them in the direction of the best restaurants in the area. Do whatever you can to not only help them imagine themselves living there, but to provide information they can actually use once they do.
Remember: people buy based on a location, every bit as much as they buy for the house itself (and maybe even more so). When you find ways to take advantage of this knowledge, you can deliver an amazing experience your clients will want to tell all their friends and family about.
Simplify the process.
Why do so many people give flowers to their significant other? They do this because it almost always gets a positive reaction. And the reason it gets such a positive reaction is because it’s unexpected.
How can you give your clients the unexpected? How do you make it so that they don’t have to think, and all they have to do is experience the moment?
For REALTORS®, insurance agents, and so many other service-based professionals, paperwork and red tape are a necessary part of the job. Don’t scare your clients with the details of a contract. Fill out as much of the paperwork as possible, and then film a short video that explains what everything means and what they need to do. Then, they can just look it over and sign it.
When you’re working to build a lasting relationship based on trust, showing your clients that you value their time and peace of mind is one of the most powerful things you can do.
Don’t forget about the little things.
A big part of why the Four Seasons’ service is so legendary is because they understand the importance of little details. Things that might seem insignificant on their own—like the extra bottle of water at the gym, or the smile at the front desk—are part of the Four Seasons’ larger plan to create a memorable experience.
Think about how you might be able to incorporate some of these small gestures into your customer service. For example, you could:
- Greet clients by their name, while flashing a big smile.
- Hand them a cup of their favorite coffee from Starbucks.
- Ask about their day, what they do for a living, or their hobbies.
- Give them a copy of your customized magazine from ReminderMedia.
Whatever you decide to do for your clients, the bottom line is that you make them feel special. Give them something they don’t expect, but which you know they’ll appreciate. So many businesses don’t bother to go the extra mile. When you do, you’ll be that much more memorable.