My first experience in customer service was in high school. I worked at the dining hall in a retirement home as a hostess then as a waitress. I later became the store manager of a local cheese steak sub shop where I handled even bigger customer service experiences.
Now, many years later, I’m with Nationwide Appraisal Network where there are thousands of customers to work with. I’ve had the opportunity to experience customer service from many different levels. From creating the first appraisal order to reviewing the appraisal and everything else in between. What’s interesting is that from everything you hear and read about customer service it all boils down to one thing. It’s all very SIMPLE…treat your customers as you would want to be treated when you’re a customer.
We recently completed Customer Service Week at Nationwide Appraisal Network and we learned the 5 customer service rules to live by. These are the 5 rules we follow everyday especially working in appraisal management.
1. Keep your customer first. When Joni Pilgrim and Cari Burris first started the company they set out on a mission to provide the best customer service possible. They knew that in order to compete in the appraisal management arena they had to stand out and be SMART about customer service. There are no shortcuts in customer service and they take that very seriously. Being able to connect to your customer and know them is key in building trust, loyalty, and sustaining long term business relationships.
2. Clear Communication. We’re all ears over here and in appraisal management it’s so important! Keeping a clear line of communication open and listening to every single detail is crucial to success. It’s so easy to send a quick email, but sometimes tone can be taken the wrong way in an email. We would prefer to pick up the phone with a smile and have a conversation with our clients. We like to give one-on-one attention to each and every customer and it shows. Our customers appreciate that we pick up the phone on the very first ring and we do so with a big smile.
3. Deliver on your promises. In appraisal management timing is crucial. From every step of the appraisal process you’ll find a staff member involved keeping notes of every detail and every conversation. Any and all pertinent information should be relayed to your customer keeping them involved every step of the way. They key to building trust is to begin with keeping your promises. If we promise the stars, we deliver the moon! That’s what keeps loyalty in our business and it truly makes a difference.
4. Never argue with a customer. The point here is that it’s important to provide amazing service to every customer. If a customer is upset, it’s not about winning an argument. It’s to provide a solution and show empathy. This is where our ears come into play, if we listen closely we’ll hear the real concerns then we can address them immediately. It’s a lot easier so soothe than to argue with someone.
5. Always Say “Thank You” Kindness and Gratitude are two things you cannot do without in business. The good old fashioned “thank you” is always a hit with any customer. Carefully craft your thank you for each and every customer so they know you’re speaking directly to them. We always make it a point to thank absolutely everyone. In this business, every customer along the way MATTERS! So, thank you! That’s SOLID!
We made a commitment to customer service working in appraisal management and signed a pledge to promise to adhere to these standards every single day. It’s all part of our SIMPLE, SMART, and SOLID approach to business. It’s that easy! Give us a call, we’re listening…