Every savvy business professional knows that keeping customers happy is a critical component of success. But what happens when something goes wrong, like an unexpected delay? Is there a way you can still salvage that relationship? In most cases, the answer is yes – provided you adequately manage the client’s expectations.
In fact, if you’re proactive and dedicated in this area, you might even be able to turn an otherwise negative situation into an opportunity for client delight. Here are a few tips for keeping your property management customers’ expectations in check.
Be Realistic from the Start
There’s nothing wrong with striving to go above and beyond for your clients, but when you put too much pressure on yourself to do so every time, you might end up inadvertently setting the bar a bit too high. Then when something goes wrong and you can’t go the extra mile, they’re disappointed. Operate under the premise of “under promising and over delivering.”
Put It in Writing
Whenever you have a conversation with a customer, it can be helpful for both parties if you summarize what was discussed and put it in writing, even if it’s just a quick follow-up email. Not only does this reiterate to your client what the next steps and/or outcome from your discussion will be, but it also provides you with a handy checklist so you don’t forget anything.
Put Technology to Work
A reasonable expectation most clients have is that you will follow through with what you promise to do for them, whether it’s generate that report they need or scheduling a maintenance appointment. Using property management software can help you stay on top of all of these requests so you don’t drop the ball. The technology is there, so take advantage of it.
When it comes to keeping your property management customers happy, you really can’t communicate too much. Always be honest and forthcoming about things like timelines and deliverables. The more you keep your clients in the loop with ongoing, open communication, the less likely they will be to feel as though you let them down if and when something goes awry.
Build in a Buffer
Despite the most detailed planning and best intentions, things happen that can cause delays and sometimes even require that you change course entirely. You can avoid having to have an uncomfortable conversation with your customers by building in extra time for these potential issues. This goes hand in hand with the under-promise / over-deliver strategy.
When it comes to your property management organization’s bottom line, keeping customers happy and loyal is key. Setting appropriate expectations can help avoid miscommunications, prepare them for any potential issues that may arise and ensure that they remain satisfied every step of the way.