The Basic Secrets of True Success Stories!
It really IS the Little Things That Matter Most to People
Whether you are managing a small apartment community in rural America or one of the industry’s largest assets, people’s expectations in principle, are still basically the same: “give me good quality products with reliable service performed by competent employees for the value of money I am spending”.
With today’s aggressive competition trying to compete solely on price, you may quickly be on the road to ruin for your business if you can’t differentiate between “expectations” and “advantages”. Here’s a little secret you should know: contrary to common perception, customers will not go almost anywhere just to save a buck. You need to stand out in an overloaded marketplace by matching today’s customer’s expectations with your own business plans. This will clearly separate yourself and your business, from the competition.
You have to stand for something.
The quickest way to get people to ignore you is to not stand for anything, except price. So if you want to avoid getting beat up on price, stop trying to compete on price alone! What your property needs to stand out is not just “better” but exceptional customer service producing more satisfied customers.
But don’t make it just the simple “please and thank you” variety. Aim higher. Strive for fabulous, prominent, outrageously great service to set your business apart from all the others in your market area.
Keep your word and your promises.
If you want loyal customers, you need to get THEM to care about YOU. Trust is a huge factor in the formula for exceptional relationships. Seems like it would be easy to get people to trust you and your property, but the truth is it isn’t.
According to the Retail Consumer Dissatisfaction Survey, 33% of people can't find a salesperson when they shop and 25% are ignored by associates! Furthermore, here are some other interesting facts about what the general public endures…
* 96% of dissatisfied customers do not complain directly to management or owners!
* 90% will just not return!
* One unhappy customer will tell at least nine others!
* 13% of unhappy customers will tell at least 20 other people, even if unsolicited!
Lack of sincerity and concern combined with empty promises makes your credibility worthless. Offer multiple ways for them to contact you including phone, email, text, fax, or live chat. We want to hear from them.
The most beautiful words to their ears.
When you hear this phrase you immediately think of a person’s name being the most persuasive. This is true, however, in this case, we are speaking about certain words that encourage or entice people to action more than others, in particular: free, new, and guaranteed. When customers hear these words (and the promises they imply are backed up), they’ll enjoy their stay more than they would have otherwise.
Creating unique advertising that shows your property actually “walks the talk” boosts your credibility rating. Money back guarantees for satisfaction, 24 hour or same day response time to service requests, and staff available when the “customer” needs them, are all examples of your credibility. After all, it’s what you DO to back up what you SAY you will do that’s so powerful.
Make it personal; very personal.
In a study from the Journal of Applied Social Psychology, researchers found that waiters could increase their tips by 23 percent by the simple act of returning to tables with a second set of mints. So did the mints have magic powers? Probably not, but the researchers did see a correlation with the mints that created the feeling of a “personalized experience” among the customers who received them.
For us, that personalized experience comes from each encounter with our customers: prospects, residents, vendors, former residents, shoppers, etc. Those “moments of truth” when the individual makes a conscious decision about the professionalism and worth of our business, good or bad and that decision affects future outcomes of encounters. That’s why the renewal process is an ongoing course of action that reinforces those promises made during the initial leasing process.
Quality always exceeds speed.
This is especially true in our business. Because of the long-term aspects of our customer relationships, people understand that sometimes we can’t get to their request quickly due to unforeseen issues of such things as lack of staffing or other emergency issues. What they won’t excuse is after waiting longer that the problem has not been corrected effectively or to their satisfaction expectations.
Gallup Poll studies have shown that customers were nine times more likely to continue to be engaged when they evaluated the service given as “courteous, willing, and helpful,” versus the “speedy” evaluation, which only made customers six times more likely stay or purchase again. Albeit speed to address a resident’s problem is crucial, it is that expectation of consistency of quality that really keeps your residents happy.
Invest in your customer’s needs.
Customers want to feel like you care about their needs, and that you’re emotionally invested in helping them solve their problems. It’s a little easier to convey this message in a brick and mortar setting, but online surveys using such websites as SurveyMonkey can let your online customers know that you’re completely involved in meeting their expectations and needing their valuable input.
Most people aren’t just looking for another place to stay; they’re looking for a solution to their problems too. If you can solve their issue and provide satisfaction, you’ll have a customer for life!
Customers expect the “little extras” at no extra charge. If you nickel and dime them for every little thing, they’ll quickly decide that you’re only interested in taking their money. By adding value to the product at no additional cost to your customer, you could find your competitive edge and increase your customer base.
Finally, who wants to spend their hard-earned money with someone who doesn’t appreciate their business? Make sure that you offer special promotions, perks, or gifts to your long term customers. Show them you appreciate their continued support and investment in your property and to your company.
If you can give your customer what they want, your success will be as simple as saying, “thank you” for being a valued customer.
Be your customer’s ASSET:
- Apartment, S- Service, S- Satisfaction, E- Eliminates, T- Turnover!
By FOCUS Keynote Speaker, Jackie Ramstedt- CAM, CAPS, CAS