The real estate transaction closed. You’re certain that you did a great job for your client. Then, a month after the move, you visit and ask for her candid feedback. She says, “Well, to be honest with you, I’m not very happy with your service.”
Ouch! What happened?
There are many reasons why a client may be dissatisfied with your service. But that doesn’t mean all is lost. If you handle the situation correctly, you can, in the majority of cases, turn a complaining client into a loyal one.
Tips to consider when dealing with complaints in your real estate sales career:
1. Embrace the complaint.
Most truly unsatisfied clients complain to their friends and colleagues, not to the REALTOR®. So the fact that she’s bringing up the issue, with you, is a good thing. She’s open to a resolution! Tip: in your real estate contact management system, make a note in the client’s profile about the feedback they have provided. And make sure you log all communications so you can easily reference them in the future.
2. Listen before you respond.
Don’t jump in at the first opportunity to defend yourself. Even if the complaint is unfounded or unfair. Often all a client wants is someone to listen. So stay calm and hear her out before you respond.
3. Isolate the complaint.
Often a client will be upset about just one thing – a phone call that wasn’t returned promptly, for example – and then will judge your entire service based on that single incident.
The remedy for this is to isolate the complaint. You can do that by saying something like, “I’m sorry about the phone call. How did I do with the other aspects of my service? For example, did you find the initial listing presentation thorough and helpful?”
4. Say thanks and apologize.
After you listen to the complaint, don’t make any accusations. Simply thank the client for her feedback and apologize. Schedule a reminder in your real estate contact management system to follow-up about a week later with a thank you card.
Takeaway point: Listening, asking questions, and saying sorry are the keys to turning a complaint into a loyal client.
Do you routinely ask for feedback from your clients?
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