Ever walk out of a business thrilled with the way staff treated you? It's such a rare experience in this day and age that chances are good, you wanted to tell all your friends about the service you received and recommend the business to them. Ever wanted to capture that same excitement in your tenants?
Ken Blanchard and Sheldon Bowles' classic business book "Raving Fans: A Revolutionary Approach to Customer Service" has become a favorite among entrepreneurs and managers everywhere. It can even help property managers create raving fans out of tenants. How?
The central thesis of "Raving Fans" is simple: know what you want, know what the customer wants and deliver that...plus some. Think about the premise in relation to your favorite restaurant. If you're served amazing food by friendly waiters who go out of their way to ensure your experience was positive, you're likely to return. If they throw in a coupon or freebie, you'll be thrilled.
The takeaway? It's not about the coupon or freebies. It's about going above and beyond expectations. Scott Safadi of Cal Bay Property Management recommends taking this approach with your own tenants. Understand what tenants want out of you and over-deliver. That may mean showing up for preventative maintenance more often or providing services on nights and weekends.
One way to create raving fans is to under promise and over-deliver for tenants who are upset. While you might initially dread dealing with an angry tenant, look at it as an opportunity to foster a better relationship. Ask the tenant how they would like the problem solve and then do so quickly, efficiently and well before their requested deadline.
Then, call the tenant to follow up. Make sure their concerns were fully addressed and that the solution is working out for them. Finally, follow up with a handwritten note apologizing again for the trouble and thanking them for their concern. This can be a great time to solicit feedback, so including a survey or a spot for reviews of the service is a good idea. Even encouraging reviews on Google and Yelp can be a great strategy for growing your reputation.
There's no one way to create a raving fan, but start with this formula and you'll be teeming with success stories in no time.
- Scott Safadi, Cal Bay Property Management
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