Help your team to avoid these common mistakes, to win more business
Working for a leading supplier of mystery shopping to the property sector, I spend a lot of time reading and proofing mystery shopper reports from Estate Agents all round the UK.
I am constantly amazed at how frequently the same mistakes are made. Here is my round-up of 5 of the most common.
1. Jumping in too soon
Agents can jump in too soon, asking customers when they want to view a property or want a valuation done, rather than first getting to the bottom of the customer's enquiry. Often the customer is not in a position to arrange a viewing and may just want a question answered about a property of interest, or a service you’re offering. Engage with your customers, build a rapport, and provide the answer and service THEY require.
2. Registering customer details
Agents often fail to take a customer’s details properly, instead leaving the onus on the customer to get back in contact with them. In a recent project we saw only 14% of agents took the customer’s contact details and current postal address. In everyday situations, think how many lost leads that could be? Be proactive, take their contact details and agree next steps with them. Seems simple right? So why aren't agents doing it? From our research we have found that this significantly improves the customer’s experience as they feel genuinely valued.
3. Introducing other properties
During mystery shops we see agents letting phone calls come to an end, purely the specific property a customer is enquiring about is not available. Yet this is a perfect time to discover what your customer is looking for in their next property. Question them, understand their needs, show an interest, and introduce other properties that you have on your books. If you don’t have any properties that match their requirements, at least you have details on file in case something else comes up.
4. Discovering the customer’s situation
Frequently agents completely forget to ask customers what their current position is, or enquire whether they have a property to sell. Doing this can turn a buyer enquiry into a vendor enquiry. It seems basic, but it can take an enquiry much further than simply answering the few questions they have. It may also enable you to recommend a mortgage advisor, or at least establish whether they can pass the affordability check.
5. Conversational questions
Don’t get me wrong, I think questioning customers is the most important thing here. But equally ensuring your questioning is authentic, rather than overly scripted is imperative. Getting as much information from your customers as possible is great for matching them with properties and understanding what they want from a property. However, rather than reeling off a list of questions you feel you need to ask, try to include them in natural conversation. Whilst building a rapport with a customer you can find out so much more about them. Customers may feel your questioning is intrusive and scripted if you simply go through a tick list and be less likely to engage with your or your agency. Property customer journeys are highly emotive experiences.
So, there we have it. Eradicate these common pitfalls and you're on the road to standing out from the estate agency crowd.
But this is just the beginning. Start here, and help your team continuously improve, and they will quickly provide superior service that really delights customers and wins you more business.
Be proactive and really listen to people so you can deliver a better customer experience for everyone. If you'd like to know how, just get in touch and we can tell you more.