“You’re Already A Customer, So You Don’t Count”

by Amanda Cupp on September 24th, 2014

If your top priority is to attract new residents… read this.

I was the only customer at a car rental agency the other day, yet no one would help me. They were too busy answering the phones. I finally gave up and called them. When the service rep realized that the person on the other end of the phone line was me—standing right in front of him—he said, “Are you kidding?” He hung up and continued answering the other calls.  Later he explained that potential customers were calling, and that I was already a customer.

Whaaa? I guess he didn’t understand that it’s easier to keep a customer than to get a new one.

In fact, research shows:

  • It’s five times cheaper to keep a customer than to get a new one. – TARP Worldwide
  • The probability of selling to an existing customer is 60 – 70%. The probability of selling to a new prospect is 5-20% – Marketing Metrics.
  • A 2% increase in customer retention has the same effect as decreasing costs by 10% – Leading on the Edge of Chaos, Emmet Murphy & Mark Murphy.

Potential residents may deliver value someday. And yes, you have to work on attracting them. But current residents are already at your property. You’re already realizing their value. So remind your current residents—often—why they chose your property.

  •  A customer is 4 times more likely to defect to a competitor if the problem is service-related rather than price- or product-related
    – Bain & Company.

According to customer service expert, Ruby Newell-Legner, it takes 12 positive experiences to make up for one unresolved negative experience.

In the world of customer service, communication is king. Communicate frequently with your residents to set their expectations. A notification service like One Call Now is a fast and easy way to keep residents in the loop. Property managers create one message, send it only once and it’s delivered as voice or text to land lines, mobile phones, email and social media.

Making the effort to keep residents informed shows them that you’re in control and that you respect and appreciate them. In short, frequent communications help you build and strengthen your relationships with your residents.

And on a final note… I won’t be returning to that rental car agency.

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