4 simple ways to deliver industry-leading customer communication
17 June 2020
It’s been a difficult few months as the property management sector navigates the challenges of COVID-19. And while it hasn’t been business as usual for quite some time, one thing has remained constant: first-class communication is just as important today as it was before the pandemic.
Over the past few months, the sector has seen so many inspiring examples of businesses and property managers creatively and tenaciously pivot their ways of working to deliver even better customer experiences despite the circumstances.
According to Ailo’s data, average customer satisfaction scores for the industry increased from 4.25 to 4.5 between March and June.
This data represents the scores from over 12,943 property investors from 126 property management businesses across the country.
“Our data has shown us time and time again that communication is the single biggest driver of customer satisfaction in property management.”
— Ben White, Ailo Co-Founder
“Over the past few months, we’ve seen so many property managers significantly raise the bar when it comes to communication as they help their customers navigate the impact of covid-19, and this has caused a spike in customer satisfaction scores across the country,” he said.
“Our data has shown that it’s possible to move the needle on customer satisfaction faster than we ever thought was possible – but that can and will fade quickly if we let ourselves lapse back into old ways.”
To help property managers continue to deliver the level of communication that customers crave, here are four simple things to implement in your business today:
1. Review your consumer data
Even something as simple as ensuring you add the first name of your customers to an email blast instead of just the standard “Hi” can be a powerful way to connect with your customers. But to do this, you need to ensure your consumer data is clean and accurate. Misspelling a customer’s name or accidentally sending the same email twice due to duplicate records can damage your reputation.
On the other hand, sending a short text to your top investors on their birthday or simply asking one of your renters how their kids' first day back at school was can be an incredibly powerful way to connect. A little personalisation goes a long way, so consider adding a few notes to your database you can draw on in future.
2. Give your customers what they want before they ask for it
On the days when to-do lists seem endless, it can be easy to forget that contacts on your screen are people, too – and just because an owner didn’t call to ask how much the broken dishwasher ended up costing, doesn’t mean it’s not important to them.
There’s a common misconception that landlords are wealthy business executives who hoard multiple properties, but according to the ATO the majority of property investors own just one rental property and almost half report a taxable income of $50,000 or less. Even if a maintenance issue takes a while to get fixed, messaging the owner with a quick status update is a really simple way to connect and build trust.
3. Give your message templates and scripts a facelift
Template emails and text messages and scripts can save hours of time, but it’s critical to find the right balance between efficiency and personalisation.
For example, many renters across the country right now are likely feeling the financial stress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, so now could be a good time to revisit rent arrears notice emails to ensure they apply the right tone and level of empathy.
At the same time, customers are craving more immediate and direct communication, so now could be the right time to explore tools like Ailo that offer live chat to help you streamline communication and resolve questions and concerns quickly.
4. Give your customers a voice
To be a good communicator, you must be a good listener. Keeping an eye on feedback coming through from Google Reviews and RateMyAgent is helpful, but it’s not enough. You can't delight your investors if you don't know what they care about. To provide great service you need to go deeper with data. After all, you can’t improve what you don’t measure. Customer satisfaction and net promoter score (NPS) are simple but powerful metrics to get started with.
A true advocate for her customers, Cathie Crampton from Place Estate Agents is a strong believer in proactively and regularly asking for raw feedback.
“As businesses, we live in an age in property management now where culturally the client needs to be the number one focus for all of us,” she said.
Cathie uses Ailo Insights, a customer feedback platform, to keep her finger on the pulse of customer sentiment.