By Samantha Jones, Commercial Manager Corporate and Property, at telephone answering specialist Moneypenny. Moneypenny answers around 1.2 million overflow calls a year for more than 950 estate and letting agents across the UK. 

We often talk about rolling out the red carpet out for our customers at Moneypenny. What we mean is delivering the kind of service that makes everyone feel like your biggest and most important client. A true VIP. It’s this experience that creates loyalty and really ‘wows’ customers. So, here are six ways you can do this... 

1)    Walk in your customers’ shoes. If we could pick one rule this would be it – the golden rule. Experiencing your business as your customers do. How often do you take a step back and `mystery shop’ your own agency by turning tables and becoming your own customer?  So, send an email or online enquiry, try out your app, make a phone call at different times of the day and in the evening, interact on social media, send a friend into your branch – think of every possible contact point and see how it works and how it feels. However busy you are, it’s worth the investment and you’ll be amazed by the insights you’ll gain.

2)    Listen never assume. However successful, no business can afford to be complacent. It needs to be listening to its customers, at every opportunity and gathering as much honest feedback as possible. Never assume you know what customers want. What works today may not work tomorrow, so listen, recognise when things need to change, and act wisely on the information. Don’t be afraid to mix things up a bit.

3)    Exceed expectations. In a customer-centric business with competition rife, meeting expectations isn’t enough. `Wow’ must come as standard to deliver the best possible customer experience and create a great impression. Operating in a digital marketplace means ensuring the standard of your response is consistently high across every platform, and with more and more customers making contact outside of regular opening hours, make sure you have that covered too.

4)    The little things are the big things. Moving home, selling or renting can be stressful times. When thinking of customer service, it’s not the act of buying, selling or securing their home itself that will resonate with customers during and after the process, but the way you made them feel along the journey. Small touches of expertise, understanding, kindness and consideration make a huge difference. Customers want to be nurtured, to feel special – from a smile and cheerful welcome to a little `good luck’ gift.

5)    Speak in your customers’ language. A confused customer is an uncertain and uncomfortable one, so be sure you are clear, not only in the information you are giving, but the way you deliver it. Keep any jargon in the office. Understanding your customers - their needs, timescales, circumstances and what drives and motivates them, will be key to getting your communication with them just right.

6)    Keep service at the heart of your business. Regardless of how big your business grows or how busy you are day-to-day, fail to put the customer first and you’ll soon stop growing! It can be a challenge with other demands around you, but whatever you need to achieve in a day, first and foremost think back to the golden rule in point one. Do this and you won’t go far wrong. 

Hopefully, these six golden rules will help you provide your own customers with a 5-star experience.