Do People Really Care About Good Customer Service?

This is a blog post I have thought about for a while.  I will start off by saying I speak totally from my own perspective and am not trying to hint or elude to any one person or company.  This is totally my take on how I feel about customer service.  It has gone to S@#% not only in my industry but all industries in general.

I have been a Realtor for 15 years plus.  I have always pride myself on giving the BEST customer service I can provide.  I have gone out of my way to help my clients and customers from running over to make up a bed before a home showing to getting their grass cut if the house was vacant.  I do have my limits of course but I try to be as helpful as possible because I would want the same done for me.

I spent the first 12 years of my real estate career working in the upper state of SC in the Fort Mill/South Charlotte area.  Everyone was nice, kind, and helpful.  We were more like a family of Realtors who supported each other and worked together – even if we were at different companies.  The clients and customers were loyal and cared about good quality customer service which I gladly gave but things have really changed since I moved here 4 years ago.

What I have learned since moving to Charleston is the real estate market is very different here. Maybe it has a lot to do with being a vacation destination.  I have also learned the millennial age group has populated the real estate market in droves of hopeful wishes of getting rich.  They are more entrepreneurial minded than we baby boomers.  I applaud them for their go get it style.  However, I can’t help but notice the qualities they lack which I believe are important in being successful in real estate such as good communication, good follow-up and good follow-through.  There are several things that irritate me they do but I am trying to learn to go with the flow and not be so set in my ways.  One is texting instead of talking.  If I need to discuss the results of a home inspection, I don’t want to text a book to the agent.  Why can’t we just talk on the phone?  Or, I text them and they respond.  Then I immediately call them, it goes to voicemail?  WTH?  Another one is you send an offer, it has a deadline and the agent doesn’t respond.  Or if they do respond, it is after the deadline.  WTH?  I wonder where did they take real estate classes and do they even care about the laws must less their clients and customers.

I have two children who are in the millennial age group.  This group seems to have a way about themselves like – its all about me and I will get to it when I get to it.  Whatever!  This drives me crazy.  And it is not just working with millennial Realtors that can be challenging, it is clients and customers too.  The days of potential buyers and sellers wanting and caring about someone’s knowledge and experience seem to be a thing of the past.  There are around 7000 Realtors in the Charleston Trident Area.  You bump into one at every place you go or you meet someone who already knows a local Realtor.  Competition is crazy.  Well, I don’t believe in competition.  I still believe in good customer service.  I may not be as young as I used to be but I have tons of experience and knowledge of the market as well as buyer and seller behaviors to be able to get you the price you.   However, I don’t think anyone really cares about this anymore.  It is all about the now.  Got to have it now – make it sound as flashy as possible like a flash sale where everyone is running like wild animals! Then when they get what they thought they wanted, they don’t want it anymore.

Perceptions seems to be everything when it comes to selecting who a buyer and seller will choose to work with.  The young peppy agent driving the BMW or Mercedes.  They look good in the driveway but do they know the market or have they watched too much Millionaire Real Estate Agent on HGTV?  You may laugh but I am not kidding.  I actually hear this sometimes.  Crazy.  Will they go by and check your mailbox to make sure nothing important is sitting there while you are on vacation?  Will they tell you the truth and price your home right or just price it to get your listing?  Do they care about your needs instead of their own?  The answer is I hope so!  I really hope so!  Older agents have values of loyalty and doing what is right.  That was our generation.  I am a woman of my word and I am not going to tell you anything I don’t believe to be true.  I am not going to make it sound good if it is not good.  Again, I am not pointing fingers to anyone or any company.  I am just saying how are you picking the person you will work with to purchase or sell your largest investment?  I don’t think anyone thinks about customer service anymore.

I have spent my entire career asking God to send me people to help who need my help.  I have worked with some amazing families.  Very few times has anyone not worked with me.  Being in this real estate market, it is so flakey now.  I never know from one day to the next what to expect.  I can’t provide the best customer service if I don’t know what your plan is for moving or selling.  I care about getting it right.  One good thing about the millennial age group is they don’t care.  They just move on to the next one.  They are easier to take rejection because they put no stock in anything anyone says which may be why their customer service skills are not where they should be.  It is all about the numbers for them.  It is all about the people for me.  I know there are good and bad Realtors in every age group.  I also know I am not perfect but I try my best to get it right.  To make sure I give you what I promise to give you – good customer service.  It is all about making sure you walk away having had a good experience because you can’t change it after the act.

Even when I go out to dinner now, I am paying closer attention to how I am treated regarding customer service.  I expect what I pay for when it comes to where I dine.  I don’t want to pay over $100 for a meal and be ignored by someone on a cell phone who should be waiting on me at my table.  I think we are too quick not to do our research and too quick to accept what is becoming the norm.  Customer service is the key to repeat business.  I have always treated my clients and customers like family.  I want them to know they matter to me.  I just wonder if anyone else cares about customer service because it is becoming a dying art.  I guess as we age we notice things more.  Younger people probably think – Good Gracious Woman Get Over It.  Maybe I should but it still irritates me to know if the client or customer knew the back end of what was going on would they care?  Maybe or maybe not?  We will never know.  All I can do is keep being me and praying God sends the right people my way for me to help.  I still believe in customer service and always will.  It is kinda like having manners.  You either have them or you don’t.  Be Blessed!

 

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