How do you ensure excellent customer service?
03-15-2022, Lisa Trosien, the President of Apartment Expert, led a webinar on keeping your cool with customer service. The webinar focused on how property managers, agents, and leasing teams can handle the negative issue a resident or prospect may raise. Here’s a recap of the webinar.
The First Step is to Understand “Why.”
Why is a person being hostile and angry? A factor that influences anger is fear. In some cases, the fear is underlying, and the resident doesn’t realize it. Therefore, it was recommended to remember that anger might be rooted in fear when dealing with angry residents.
Another factor is grief. People are grieving that the “normal” life as they knew it, has changed. And change is sometimes uncomfortable. This may make them lash out.
Residents displace their fear and grief. They put these negative emotions onto someone who has nothing to do with it; the leasing agent or the property manager. Therefore, do not take it personally when a resident displaces their fear or anger on you. Also, never respond to a negative resident review immediately. Take time to process it and think about it first.
Pay attention to tone when dealing with resident conflicts. Residents want to feel that they are understood. Therefore you should be empathetic to their problem. So you should use a sensitive tone and make them feel seen and heard.
Assume The Best in People
As mentioned earlier, people go through different life factors such as fear and grief. These may cause them to make a mountain out of nothing. So Trosien recommended that assuming the best in people will prevent you from reacting negatively to their issues, thus resolving them calmly.
Residents Before Problem
Always address the residents first before addressing their problems. For instance, when you focus on calming the resident down, they can then calmly tell you their issues. You can’t fix the problem without calming the residents. So it would be best if you did not rush them into telling you the problem. Instead, seek to understand the resident before focusing on the problem.
Listen More Than You Talk
Remember, residents want to be heard. And they want to know you care to listen to their problems. So listen twice as much as you talk. Remember to first listen and then understand the resident’s side of the problem.
Be Patient And Mind Your Body Language
Listen attentively and patiently to the resident’s issues. A suggestion was to have a pen and notebook to take down their problems. In addition, it was also recommended to be mindful of facial expressions. Do not respond to their problem with a negative facial expression. It is best to keep a “poker face.” Also, do not cross your hands while talking, as this will portray no interest in their issues.
Repeat Their Key Points
Repeating words is an excellent way of keeping cool with residents. Repeating their key points and using their exact words has a psychological effect. This is a very impactful strategy for empathy. Repeating their words causes the echo effect and signals to their brains that their issues will be heard and addressed.
Other tips from the webinar were:
- Avoid using negative words. For example, you are dead on. Instead, you could say you are spot on.
- Constantly update the resident even if you have nothing to say. This will reassure them that someone is working on their problem.
- Improve your everyday resident phrases. For example, instead of saying thank you, say thank you so much.
These are some of the key points from the webinar that highlights the importance of keeping it cool with customer service. Hyly.AI also knows the importance of seeking resident feedback regularly. Our hyMail Drips includes templates focused on encouraging resident feedback, so on-site teams can address them before it becomes a major problem. Connect with your residents autonomously and keep them happily renewing.