Posts Tagged ‘ customer service ’

Is Online Chat Making a Comeback for Websites?

One of the things that we tried a few years back at our brokerage, was to provide “online chat” on our website for visitors who wanted some quick information. The thought was that it would provide the user a better experience and that we would get many more leads because of it. We thought that the ability to provide an “instant response” would engage customers in conversation. That did not turn out to be the case. So we let the project drift for a couple of years.

So what has changed that may make this strategy become a more effective experience, marketing wise? For starters, many more websites in other industries are using it, so customers are becoming accustomed to it. Customer service off of websites has taken two routes as the battle to balance customer satisfaction while simultaneously reducing costs has raged. The first effort was to go offshore, but that has proven to be less than satisfactory to the user. Keeping a fully staffed 24 hour a day team here in the states was out of the cost range for the companies. Thus the popularity of online chat for support.

Add to that these following trends and we MAY have the making of a new option for real estate agents: Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Eric Blackwell on September 9th, 2010 under Guest Bloggers, HomeGain, Technology

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Selling Homes? Of Course, But There’s More To It

Yesterday I was having a cup of coffee and a slice of blackberry cake in a coffee shop downtown Savannah. When everyone else finished their drinks and snacks, they left the plate and cup. Not me, no, I pick up behind myself, so I took my plate and cup to the front like I always do at such places and offered it to the person behind the counter. Now, a person who has a scintilla of service running in their veins would have accepted the plate and cup, thanked me and smiled.

Not this person posing as a customer service employee, no, she looked at me, slightly annoyed, and said, “Actually, would you take that down to the end of the counter?” I started to ask her if she wanted me to wash it, too. I just laughed and took it down to the end of counter, knowing no thanks was forthcoming (and there wasn’t).

This is an example of someone wanting a paycheck with no clue what it means to provide customer service. Did I get my coffee and blackberry cake? Yes. Was it good? Yes. Will I go back? I doubt it. The reason I won’t go back is because I can get the same good coffee and cake down the street with better, more personable service. I tried this place out and it failed to make me want to go back.

When I hear people confidently say about our profession—“I’m in the business of selling homes, dammit, not in the service business or socializing business or friend-making business, but the home-selling business!”—this appeals to my Hulk Hogan side, but it also leaves me unsatisfied with the posture.

Two people can be good at selling homes, yet one will be successful long term and the other will fade away into obscurity and mediocrity—why? Because of service. Continue reading this post

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Posted by: Mike Farmer on June 20th, 2008 under Best Practices, Guest Bloggers

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