Are You Impressed When People Follow-up?
And Surprised When They Don't?
I have to say I am usually impressed when people follow-up, when they say they are going to, or even if they don’t specifically say they will. It means a lot!
It could be another Realtor, a lender, a vendor, the HOA, or someone else. There are plenty of opportunities in our business for follow-up!
I called my Mom’s HOA this morning because of a problem with a leaking hose bib on her back patio (she is very hard of hearing and would not be able to manage this herself). The property management company was helpful and responsive, setting up a work order right away, and the woman I spoke with said she would be back in touch with me.
Less than 2 hours later she called to say she’d spoken with the maintenance person, who would be taking care of the issue today! I was impressed!
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised, since she said she would follow-up.
But so often it seems that people say this and then don’t actually follow-through. They may have had good intentions, but it’s the result that really matters, isn't it. How often has THAT happened to you in our business?!
And there are plenty of times one would reasonably expect some sort of follow-up but you get crickets.
Timely follow-up is good customer service in any business and may be implicit given the situation, or might be assumed or expected by the consumer – providing requested information, responding to a question, confirming an appointment, checking to make sure a problem was resolved satisfactorily, or finding out how a client is feeling.
If someone assumes or expects follow-up that does not happen, the reputation of the service provider could be at risk. Since you don’t always know what people’s expectations are it’s probably better to be safe and follow-up.
What’s worse, however, and potentially a greater detriment to one’s reputation, is explicitly stating follow-up will happen…by phone, email, text…and then it doesn’t. People WILL remember what was said, and what didn’t happen.
It’s also a customer service issue when there is a substantial delay beyond what might be considered reasonable depending on the situation…a few hours or the next day perhaps…or what was specifically promised (how many times have you heard soemthing like “I’ll call you back before the end of the day”).
While delayed follow-up might be better than not following up at all, some damage has been done.
I suspect most of us will remember when people do what they say and follow-up. And when there is follow-up we did not expect.
But we also remember, perhaps even more so, when they don’t.
That’s important to keep in mind, don’t you think?
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