One would argue that even though we are a customer service business that we tend to over-process our business with team-centric systems and processes. We don't do this deliberately, however, if we aren't considering our customer's needs, we would be naturally biased towards ourselves. I have nothing against systemizing your business, if fact, those that follow me know that I am the system king! It is prudent, though, that we consider our customer's needs first and foremost when creating these systems. It throws a very different perspective across the landscape.
It is prudent, though, that we consider our customer's needs first and foremost when creating these systems
Customer surveys aren't new to property management. However, it has become more apparent that surveying our customers gives us more significant insights into their needs. If we delve down into the feedback we are receiving, whether it be positive and negative, we tend to look at our businesses very differently. I call this "giving our customers a voice". We work so hard to build systems and processes that promise our customers the best possible service. However, we don't ask them what they want. We just assume we know best.
Customer experience is not a property management term. Our clients are receiving customer experience in their everyday lives. From airlines and hotels to hairdressers and coffee shops, the bar in delivering customer experience is continually changing, and the new normal is higher today than it was yesterday. In property management, we aren't just competing with other property management businesses in our area, we are competing with every company around the globe who are spending millions of dollars each year on improving the experience our customers are receiving.
In property management, we aren't just competing with other property management businesses
To improve the experience our customers are receiving, we need to have a better understanding of what our customers want. Implementing a customer survey tool allows you to ask your customers how they feel about the service they are receiving from your business. By using a tool that not only gives us feedback but also gives us a score, we can effectively benchmark ourselves to ensure we continually strive for excellence in the customer service space.
Once we have gathered our feedback, we do two things with it. We take all our negative feedback, and we group it into themes to see if we can find patterns. Each individual piece of feedback may not be of value, however, if multiple clients are giving similar feedback on the same theme, then we may have an issue. We then use this feedback to review our internal systems and processes, streamlining them to be more customer-centric in nature.
We take our positive feedback, and we reward our team for this. The team wants to be recognized for their excellent work, and positive customer feedback is an awesome way to do this. We also use this feedback to endorse our current processes. These are the things we are doing well in our business and can be used as a template for improvement in other areas where we may not have done so well.
If you are not currently surveying your customers, talk to someone who is
If you are not currently surveying your customers, talk to someone who is. You will find that they think very differently about their business and their customers, and this changes our perspective on how we deliver a service to them. In a customer-centric company, we drive our success from the voice of our customers.