customer service

Why Customer Service is an Oxymoron

customer service

Ain’t it the truth? If you want your real estate business to explode overnight, just go on vacation. What can happen in early January, you may ask? Oy. But between my laptop, my iPad and iPhone, I am never without communication of some sort. Unless, of course, I leave my phone in my at home, but then I still have my Apple Watch.

That photo above is of the rabbit in the terminal at the Sacramento Airport. I know lots of people in Sacramento don’t like it, but I find the structure attractive and invigorating. It makes me think my plane will be on time. Even though that is a fallacy and there is no logical reason to believe it. Because if a flight can be delayed, it will happen and they often don’t tell you. But that is to be expected.

See, this is the problem. We have become so accustomed to bad service, delayed flights, lost luggage, it’s become the norm. The standard. In fact, there are people alive today, living in this 22nd Century who do not know that at one time receptionists used to answer the phone and those same people would transfer you to a department if you needed help. Employees in that department worked at the company. They cared about their job, and they cared about their customers. They would actually solve your problem or die trying.

Today, that person is overseas somewhere. Pretty soon there will be no person at all. Nobody will answer your call, and nobody will help you. We have inferior and bad customer service but at least by god we have some semblance of customer service. And everybody is happy because there are few of us left alive who remember we once had good customer service. Do you remember when department stores had employees who were elevator operators? They wore a uniform, white gloves, and a little monkey hat. They ran the elevator by closing the criss-crossed metal doors and raising the arm that made the elevator go up and down.

Every customer who crossed the threshold to get on the elevator was greeted, and when you left you were wished a good day.

No, of course you don’t remember elevator operators because if you are a Millennial, you were not born yet. If something doesn’t work, you throw it away today. You don’t expect excellence from a company because you have no idea what it is. You’ve never seen it. And that is a shame because you are missing out on a great pleasure — the right to complain and bitch about it.

When we stop complaining, we have lost the battle.

Fortunately, clients never complain about The Elizabeth Weintraub Team. We under-promise, over-deliver, and superior customer service is our #1 goal.

Elizabeth Weintraub

How to Ensure Superior Customer Service After a Runaround

Customer Service

Make your point clear to turnaround customer service that is headed in the wrong direction.

We all have ideas of what customer service should be, especially when we don’t seem to receive it; however, the tale I’m about to reveal is an instance where customer service prevailed. It’s easy to yipe and rant when things don’t go our way, and it’s probably the entire reason for YELP to exist. The very title of that website invites criticism. Further, other third-party websites where real estate clients can post reviews aren’t that much better when anybody with a pulse and guiding a cat’s paw can tap a computer keyboard. The question becomes how to superior extreme customer service to increase the chances of a good review.

After closing escrow, I ask my sellers to post a Realtor performance review online for this Sacramento Realtor. Some will do it but some won’t because they don’t want to register for a website, or they forget, get busy elsewhere. I feel compelled this morning to post a review for a company I encountered yesterday when its employee actually listened to my concerns and provided real customer service.

Without going into detail about the service provider, let’s just say I obtained an estimate for work and let it go at that. Halfway through the job, the service provider called to disclose they had encountered a particular problem, and now the job would cost more. Not a lot more, just $50. I replied that I was a bit astonished to hear that the estimate was not firm when I believed it to be firm. What’s the point of an estimate if you don’t stand behind it? ¡Esto no me gusta!

I continued with a smile on my face, “Because in instances like this, I would expect a company to call and say, ‘hey, the job came in higher than we anticipated, and although your bill would ordinarily reflect an additional $50 — because you’re a long-term and repeat customer, and we want you to be happy, to encourage you to post nice reviews about us online — we will charge you the original estimate.'”

It’s called eating the mistake. Just in case the thought never occurred to him.

The company representative launched into a long explanation about why the job cost more, and I cut him off. I appreciated his sincere efforts, but noted I have my opinion, he had his; I acknowledged it was clear that I was not about to change his opinion and now I must return to my duties as a Sacramento Realtor, get my butt back to work, which meant off the danged phone and listening to him whine. His voice was becoming an affront to my ears.

Surprisingly, when the company presented me with the final invoice for payment, that extra $50 was not on it. Nope, it was my original estimate. The cashier told me the extra charge had been removed. It’s not always the money, it’s the principle, and the principle of customer service. I understand customer service. It’s another reason why my clients post glowing reviews. Try this approach the next time a company tries to give you the runaround and asks you to pay for the company’s mistake.


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