Rotten reviews WILL destroy your lettings business. 3 amazing rules for customer service that top brands have kept to themselves for too long.
5 minute read
Our Head of Client Success, Harriet, has 12 years working in customer relations with top UK brands.
In this post, she blows the lid on how to PROVE you are doing a great job. Harriet started working with Vaboo in 2019 and has been pivotal in helping agents across the UK deliver exceptional levels of customer service AND get those customers talking about it.
When a retail titan decides to implement a strategy to improve their NPS (Net Promoter Score) they tend to follow a 3-step plan. Harriet's previous employer now has an NPS of 74.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with NPS, it ranges from -100 all the way to 100.
- 30 is good
- 50 is excellent
- Anything above 70 is extraordinary
The property industry in the UK sits at a shocking average of -11...
That is MINUS ELEVEN!
Corporate retail plans usually included ‘LEAD’ and ‘LAG’ measurements (that you may know a bit about), lots of abbreviations, and a whole lot of headaches.
Harriet has condensed these processes down into 3 VERY easy to understand steps that make absolute certain you are WAY above industry standard…
If you would rather jump straight in to chat with one of our team about how we do all of the below for you, click here to book a call.
Otherwise, here's what Harriet has to say:
There are 3 general guidelines that I have learned over the years and I still use them today to help our clients, and it starts with a goal.
1 - It’s always best to set a big goal and make sure it’s measurable.
It seems obvious, but you’d be surprised how many businesses have no idea how to measure their customer service levels. Retailers that I’ve worked with in the past set their goals with 2 very specific measurements (Quantity and Time Frame).
So, the goal could be...
‘We want to have an NPS of 70 by 2022’.
Note: The goal is very specific and has an end! (A quantity and a timeframe)
With the letting agents we work with, we use the same method. Goals very much differ from client to client, but some good examples might be:
‘I will build up 250 x 5-star reviews by July 1st, 2022’
‘By 1st January 2023, 55% of our tenants will be engaging with us regularly’.
Engagement can be difficult to track and quantify, whether you do it through the Vaboo platform, which tracks these things for you, or you do it yourself, you need to make sure you have set a measurement value, recording method and a timeframe.
2 - Break the goal down into actionable steps
Again, this isn’t so difficult or complicated. In order to achieve a big goal, we help to break it down into bitesize steps that clients can achieve.
Ideally, with customer service, you want to
- Deliver a great service.
- Confirm that the customer feels or thinks the service is great. (Feedback)
- Follow up with some sort of commitment from them. (Review)
Firstly, most of our clients already deliver an exceptional service, which is probably why they chose to offer more to their tenants through Vaboo... and they are always looking for something extra to do to stay ahead of the market.
Secondly, assuming you're happy with your service levels, the next question is ‘how do you get to know your customer, ask them for feedback AND systemise the process?' It can feel very overwhelming but we have some simple suggestions.
One solution is to request tenant participation in a questionnaire or survey. In theory this is great, if you have the people and budget - but for the average agent in the UK, surveys and questionaries create 2 problems.
- Agents usually just don’t have the time to do it.
- Agents can’t get the commitment from the tenants to answer the questions.
A few solutions might be to hire a marketing agency, which could be a high cost and low engagement, hire a new team member, or use something like Vaboo. I was attracted to working at Vaboo because of it provides a clear solution at a reasonable cost.
Rather than sending a random survey and hoping for feedback, you could engage weekly with customers, build a positive relationship and encourage feedback through incentives.
So, let's imagine we have the insights, we've built a positive relationship, and now we want to promote the positive parts…
The final step of most action plans is encouraging your best customers to leave a review on your review website of choice (Google, TrustPilot, Feefo etc.). You could call them out of the blue, but we find that contacting tenants who receive positive weekly engagement yields more positive results.
And here's why:
Most agents have the same relationship with tenants...
- You meet a tenant.
- They move in.
- They’re late on their rent.
- Your contractor is late to fix an issue.
- They contact you about problems.
- You contact them about problems.
- They give their notice/their tenancy ends/they automatically renew.
- You accept.
- The pattern repeats.
After this pattern, it's not hard to see why agents struggle with a follow up asking for a review!
Notice that every touch point here is based on something negative or mundane. It’s really no wonder the industry standard NPS is -11!
And the truth is that almost every agent who is with Vaboo wanted to engage more with tenants before they became a client, but couldn’t find the time and often don’t know what to say.
At Vaboo, we run monthly competitions to win a month’s rent (paid by us) where every month tenants have to answer 3 or 4 questions to enter the competition. We then report insights back to you. (The good and the bad)
Our weekly engagement emails check in and remind tenants of the great work that you’re doing for them and gently encourages a positive relationship and brand loyalty.
Armed with a list of happy customers, you can finally pull the trigger and send an email with a link to leave a review. It’s less ‘out of the blue’ and tenants respond better because of that.
3 - Execute and reflect.
Once you’ve set your goals and structured your plan, it’s time to press 'go'.
Using large retailers as an example, they implement training to make sure that staff were asking for feedback directly from customers.
Another strategy in retail is collecting peoples email addresses. You may have noticed brands asking you if you want to save on paper and have a digital receipt emailed to you. This is often so they can engage with you and drive feedback to the business.
We have implemented both of these strategies at Vaboo. We have a process to help our clients understand customer service and we take care of the heavy lifting.
- We establish a client's NPS so there is a benchmark to work from. (Our average client now has an NPS of 57)
- We help set clear KPI’s around engagement rates, NPS, Logins and different types of feedback data.
- We check in quarterly so we can reflect on the service you are giving.
- We offer materials and resources both online and offline to help maximise the impact of the platform.
- Once a year we ‘deep dive’ into the data and pull out key insights that you and your team can work on to continue exceeding satisfaction goals.
When you truly start to understand your customers and build that relationship with them, they will work for you, not against you. You can uncover insights and opportunities, ask for reviews and have more pleasant interactions with them.
You can also turn data into insights, and insights into money.
What if you knew when your tenants were planning to buy their first home? Exactly when they were looking to switch utility providers? What other ‘paid for’ services they would be interested in? (That you might not have even thought of.)
Customer service is part of a long-term engagement plan that retailers use every day to improve their brand and monetise on hidden opportunities.
If you want to find out more about the data, insights and reviews that we can help you build, then click below.
If not, you can read more about data and feedback below: