Ep. 310: Naughty or Nice? 12 Tips for Managing Customer Relationships

Client-Relationship Management Requires More Than Not Screwing Up

Who should listen: If you’re looking for ways to improve your client and customer relationships, this quick list of dos and don’ts will help keep you in good standing.

Key idea: When you do something unexpected and well, you create raving fans.

Action item: Set a goal for how quickly you will respond to clients, and share that expectation with them.

Santa’s not the only one checking his list. 🎅

This week’s Silver Dollar episode is about 6 actions you should avoid before you inadvertently end up on the naughty list and 6 additional actions that will secure your spot on the nice list.

6 things that can destroy client relationships

  1. Not keeping promises. We all want to exceed our clients’ expectations, but you need to be careful not to oversell what you can accomplish. For example, a real estate agent who accepts a listing price higher than what the market will support is setting themselves up for failure. You may want to win the client, but in the long run, having to deal with their disappointment will, at the very least, cost you their confidence.
  2. Not communicating. The best way to avoid frustration about communication between you and your clients is to set expectations up front. If you aren’t available after 8 p.m., then tell them that. There’s nothing wrong with you having a personal life, and, barring an emergency, your clients will probably respect the boundaries you set.
  3. Not showing empathy. It’s easy for agents to get caught up in the details of a transaction and to move from one client to the next, one open house to the next, and one closing to the next. But for your clients, each home sale or purchase represents a momentous event in their lives. Yes, it’s your job to make sure the transaction goes without a hitch, but you also need to take the time to show some empathy too. Clients will have good days and bad, and one of the best things you can do is to practice active listening.
  4. Not valuing the relationship. If you’re more focused on the transaction than on making sure your clients find the home that is best for them, then you’re not valuing the relationship. If your clients have given you a budget but you’re consistently showing them homes outside that budget, then perhaps you need to have an honest conversation to educate them about the difference between what they say they want and what their budget will buy.
  5. Not solving recurring problems. There’s no reason that once an issue surfaces, you shouldn’t get to the root of the problem and fix it. If your same clients keep encountering the same problems, not only will it not only damage your current relationships but also likely damage your chance of any referrals.
  6. Not asking for referrals. If you think about the value you provide to your clients, then not asking for referrals isn’t very nice, is it? When you don’t ask for referrals, you deprive your clients of the opportunity to help their friends, family, and others from the quality service you could give them!

6 actions that will promote loyal client relationships

  1. Say thank you. It may seem like a simple thing, but thanking someone not only shows your gratitude but also encourages your clients to show their gratitude. When you listen to this episode, you’ll also hear about a study that reports some other positive results from saying thanks!
  2. Offer help after the close. When the transaction is over and done, many agents move on to the next deal. But imagine the lasting impression you’ll make if you do something extra that shows your clients how much you value your relationship with them. We offer some neat ideas, including finding and scheduling appointments—for free—with contractors who will help clients remodel their new homes.
  3. Give a gift. Giving a gift to a client after the close is a traditional practice among agents and for good reason. It expresses your gratitude, and it helps to encourage reciprocity in the form of referrals. When you offer a gift, make it something personal. You’ll have plenty of time with your clients to find out a few things about them that, with a little thought, could keep you in their memory.
  4. Walk clients through the contract. This is a big one! How many agents actually take the time to explain the various sections of a contract to their clients? A purchase contract is a lengthy, complicated, detailed, and legal document that few clients will understand but that solidifies the most important purchase of their lives. Take the time to explain it, and you can be sure that it will significantly separate you from the competition.
  5. Focus on solving your clients’ problems. When you listen to your clients, focus on their problems, and find solutions to them, good things will happen. That may seem like a commonsense equation, but that’s because it is. We share a situation at ReminderMedia where, when we focused on our clients’ needs, the response was tremendous. We recommend learning from our example.
  6. Do the unexpected. There are many things you can do that will come as a pleasant surprise to your prospects and clients. Something as simple as bringing coffee to your initial meeting is not something every agent would think to do. And, while it is a small gesture, the fact that it was unexpected will create a warm and pleasant start to the conversation.

Please enjoy this episode, and we’d appreciate it if you would give us a 5-star rating and leave a review on Apple Podcasts telling you what you thought of it. You can even leave more suggestions for other listeners about what you do to stay off the naughty list while ensuring you’re on the nice list. (Not sure how to leave a review? Click here.)

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Pop-by Tracking Sheet: Designed to ensure you have a successful pop-by strategy, you can use this Excel document to track your pop-bys this holiday season and all year long!

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