Posted by Gina Mayhead - 03 January, 2020
How good is the Customer Experience in your Estate Agency?
“We’re a small team. I know all my staff do a good job”
“I know how to sell houses”
“We’ve got great ratings on TrustPilot”
“I do the valuations myself”
“We give our staff comprehensive training”
Any of these lines sound familiar to you? To be fair to you guys (all estate agents out there), you’re right, you are all hard-working, polite and knowledgeable professionals.
However, in these still uncertain, hyper-competitive times, gaining an edge through premium Customer Experience (CX) and maximising the sales opportunities that do come along, is crucial.
Mystery Shopping is an effective way to see your company through your customers’ eyes, and ensure you have pro-active interactions with your customers every time.
The key things for property customers are:
- Ability and knowledge to answer their queries quickly
- Feeling special i.e. taking an interest in their specific needs and circumstances, going the extra mile to help them find the home they want
From the agent’s point of view, you want to get that sale: whether that’s signing up a new landlord, renting out a property, winning a valuation or booking in a promising viewing.
Contrast what the customers’ expectations are (see list above) with what happens in real life during the majority of interactions we’ve monitored over the last 12 months…
Transcript of an actual recorded mystery shop call:
“Good morning, ABC Estates, Jo speaking. How can I help you?”
“Oh, good morning Jo, I wonder whether you can help me? I’ve seen a lovely 3-bed property on your website. It’s on Acacia Avenue. I’ve just got a couple of questions.”
“Ok, of course. Just let me pull the details up. What is it you would like to know?”
“I can’t see from the pictures how big the garden is and whether there’s any off-street parking?”
“Oh yes, I’ve been to see that property. It’s a good size garden, mainly lawn with a small decking area next to the house. Parking-wise, there’s allocated street parking but no garage or driveway currently. Potentially the front garden could be converted to a parking space?”
“That’s very helpful, thank you. I think that’s all I needed to know.”
“OK, great. Can I help you with anything else?”
“Mmm, no, I think that’s everything for now.”
“Ok, thanks for calling. Ring me back if you have any other questions. Bye”
I’m sure you don’t need me to point out the highs and lows of this conversation? But let's take a look:
- Personalised company greeting
- Ability to answer query quickly and knowledgeably
- Polite and courteous throughout
- Didn’t take any personal details
- Didn’t offer to book in a viewing
- Didn’t find out what they were looking for
- Didn’t find out whether they had a property to sell/rent out
- Didn’t find out about timescales, financial situation, etc. etc.
This was a genuine mystery shop call, conducted by Yomdel in the last 6 months, and alarmingly typifies the weakest examples of customer interaction in Estate Agency. As a sector, based on our recent experience:
- 85% of estate agents answer the phone politely with a personalised, on brand greeting
- 81% of estate agents can answer the initial enquiry from the customer
- 40% took any form of personal details
- 32% asked any kind of information-gathering questions regarding needs/situation
Mystery Shopping can help you join up the dots between customer expectations (responsiveness, ability to answer queries, making them feel special) and the sales objectives of your company.
An ongoing programme of measurement enables staff to internalise the ideal communication flow, including those trickier cross-selling and sales opportunities, until executing the perfect interaction becomes second nature.
Showing an interest in each and every customer drastically improves customer experience AND optimises your sales opportunities. Win, win!
There's a simple adage in business: you can't improve what you don't measure.
So if you'd like to benchmark your Customer Experience, and chart an immediate course towards rapid improvement, let us know. We'd be happy to help, starting with a chat about your current challenges and what you'd like to improve most.
Get in touch today:
Or drop Gina a line at firstname.lastname@example.org