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A Promise is a Promise – The Rewards of Customer Service

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By Cliff Baird

RISMEDIA, Sept. 20, 2008-In 1962, four new retailers were born:

- Kmart was founded in Garden City, Michigan.
- Target was founded in Minneapolis.
- Woolworth-the biggest retailer at the time-founded Woolco.
- And the final one was founded in rural Arkansas-Wal-Mart.

We all know the name of the winner of that race. Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, wrote the following:

“The secret to successful retailing is to give the customer what they want. And really, if you think about it from the point of view of the customer, they want everything: a wide assortment of good quality merchandise; the lowest possible prices; guaranteed satisfaction with what you buy; friendly, knowledgeable service; convenient hours; free parking; a pleasant shopping experience. You love it when you visit a store that somehow exceeds your expectations and you hate it when a store inconveniences you or gives you a hard time or pretends you’re invisible.”

Is it any wonder that Wal-Mart has become the largest, most dominant company in the history of the world? Even more profound is that they accomplished all of this by focusing on the most basic needs of the consumer.

The secret to the company’s success is simple: Wal-Mart combined many obvious ideas to form a loyal base of customers and associates.

Wal-Mart is a remarkable story because it explains how you, too, can achieve a Wal-Mart-like status in your world by consistently doing for others what you would want done for you.

Sam Walton and those who followed his wisdom built an empire destined to last for many generations. It is a beautiful, simple message filled with the aroma of authenticity: “Give your clients what they want.”

Recently, I completed a survey study of the needs of home buyers as they relate to the service provided by their real estate agents. Here are some of the results:

-Buyers are looking for a personal advisor.
-Buyers want to know that their agent is going to protect them.
-Buyers expect to be educated in all aspects of the process.
-Buyers want consistent communication, good and bad.
-Buyers like to feel that they have a special relationship with their agent.
-Buyers want their agent to have detailed knowledge of their neighborhood.
-Buyers want to know that their agent is on top of their personal situation.
-Buyers need to be confident of your honesty because they need to trust you.

Not that you need to be reminded, but here are the tangible reasons to keep your promises to clients. It’s all about the math. Like Wal-Mart, providing a service that is above and beyond a client’s expectations is the best form of prospecting for future exponential growth.

Below is the average transaction volume by month as recorded by the National Association of Realtors. Although there may be some changes regionally, these stats should serve as a benchmark as to when closings take place during the calendar year:

January: 4%;
February: 5%;
March: 6%;
April: 9%;
May: 11%;
June: 15%;
July: 15%;
August: 11%;
September: 8%;
October: 6%;
November: 5%;
December: 4%

Use this information to plan your relationship marketing campaigns well in advance. Be wise in your expectations. Be aggressive in your service because your future depends on it.

Cliff Baird, MBA, PhD, has spent over 25 years coaching agents and managers to focus on business systems that lead to abundant success. He is the developer of The RealSTAR Online Recruiting System, which helps managers handle the recruiting process.

For more information, please contact Baird at cliff@cliffbaird.com or www.realstarrecruits.com.

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