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People Who Need People: Customer Service Insights

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By Beth Kinsella

customer_service_saleswomanWhen I meet someone for the first time and am asked what I do for a living it’s always a bit of a tricky question. My quick response is that I work in real estate, which essentially is not true. (If I am going to lie about it I might as well say I am an astronaut or the bassist for a cool indie band, right?) My job is supporting the membership base of Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, a network of 500+ firms with more than 120,000 sales associates. My days consist of training, writing and answering lots and lots of questions. It is, essentially, customer service for people who are masters at customer service.

Ask any bartender or server who the best tippers are and undoubtedly he or she will tell you, they are other bartenders and wait staff. It’s likely because they have a hyper-awareness of exactly what that job entails. Nobody appreciates excellent customer care like people who work in customer service.

In some industries, technology has erased the human element. Ticket agents have been replaced by kiosks, cashiers have been replaced by self-check-outs and switchboard operators have been replaced by recorded messages. We can all take comfort that while technology has ushered our industry into the 21st century, it will never replace the people who put the real in real estate.

Real estate professionals know that buying or selling a home is not only an enormous financial decision, but it’s one peppered with emotion — good or bad. This makes for some high-strung, high-maintenance clients. On any given day you are a consultant, a confidant and a therapist.

So what happens when you need guidance? Likely, you want a human. You want a human who cares. You want a human to validate your feelings and put you at ease. You want a YOU! Working in customer service for customer service professionals feels a little like having a chef over to your house for a dinner party; you know there’s a certain level of expectation.

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