Customer Service – How Important is the Telephone?
We all know that it’s best to return a text with a text, a phone call with a call, and an email with an email. Whichever is your customer’s preferred method of communication is the guide. However, when a request is made for the “dreaded” phone call, to what extent will a business go to avoid it?
I recently represented sellers in a real estate transaction in Destin, Florida. We sold the house fast and everything went along quite smoothly, until the closing. Ummm, until after the closing, that is. We closed ahead of schedule. On a Friday. The title agent told my seller their check would be delivered by UPS the next day, which was a Saturday. My sellers were living in an apartment complex and did not want to have a check for a large dollar amount sitting outside their door, so stayed home all Saturday waiting for the delivery. It never came. We left phone messages and emailed three parties at the title agency to ask for a tracking number. Alas, no one got back to us. It was the weekend, remember.
Monday at 9:30 a.m. I called the title office. They still had not returned the calls or emails from my client or me, stating they had been very busy. I asked the representative to call my sellers, as they did not check their email much. She sort of apologized and said she would. When I checked my computer, there was an email from the representative to the sellers. She had decided not to call. I then received another email telling me the seller had not understood the delivery schedule. This was addressed to me, not the seller. The second party at the firm decided not to call my seller, either. Finally, a third representative responded to me by text asking if the issue was taken care of. I explained that it had been, but that my customers were displeased. Then we were dropped. The property had closed, after all.
What a difference it would have made had anyone called my sellers to personally apologize for any misunderstanding. It’s one thing when a simple clarifying request is made. It’s quite another when displeased customers ask specifically for a phone call, and don’t get it.
Sometimes it’s hard to do what’s right – like facing the client with the “dreaded” phone call. But to hear a human voice at the end of the line, talking from the heart, apologizing if necessary, is the difference between stellar performance and just getting by.
It’s Wendy… It’s Sold!
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, Rulnick Realty, Inc.
Email Wendy: [email protected]
Wendy Rulnick, Broker, sells real estate in Destin, Santa Rosa Beach, 30A, Miramar Beach, Crestview, Sandestin, Seaside, Rosemary Beach, Fort Walton Beach, Niceville, Bluewater Bay, Navarre, Florida.