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Communication is Key to Enhancing the Customer Experience

Communication is Key to Enhancing the Customer Experience


We are a month into 2023, and every residential team is gearing up for the upcoming busy season. With customer experience back to being a trending topic for consumers, it's crucial that your community not only looks good but performs well too. But with many leasing offices being short-staffed and a high turnover rate, it's getting harder for leadership teams to focus on individual performance. We've all been there, an office continuously training a new hire while trying to implement best practices and enforce the correct policy and procedures. Priorities of the "customer first" mindset slowly fad as teams try to stay afloat with the influx of leads, maintenance repairs, and additional workload.

But how does this affect your community's reputation?

Seeing online reviews highlight the high turnover an office may have or the lack of knowledge a new team member has on an ongoing resident issue can cause immediate frustration for the consumer. Their immediate thought is the office needs to be more organized. Their trust dwindles with each new team member. They have to reiterate their frustrations resulting in your pre-renewal percentage taking a hit. Not only does your retention decrease, but they are "not likely" to refer a friend to your community.

So how can teams enhance the "customer first" best practices while staying on top of current resident issues, maintenance repairs, and the additional workload of a short staff? Here are a few of my favorite ways to increase communication between the office and maintenance team so everyone is in the loop and your customer doesn't have to suffer the consequences.

  1. Daily Morning Meetings - Have the entire team, including maintenance, gather in the office first thing in the morning to review priority items and get an update about recent maintenance repairs.
  2. Weekly 1:1 Meetings - The leadership team must meet with each member weekly to get a better idea of the highs and lows of the day-to-day tasks. Is there a system that could use an updated process to make your leasing team's life easier? Have you noticed office tension but are unsure of the source? This is your time to create a safe space for feedback and performance insight to help professional and personal development while also building a healthy professional relationship.
  3. There's No Such Thing As "Too Much" Communication - Communication is key in any situation that involves more than one party. Ensure you train your team to document communication in a clear and organized way. Let's say a resident stops at the office to discuss an ongoing issue with their apartment. Make a note in the account, email your team, and add a reminder to bring it up in your next daily meeting. Having verbal and written communication with your team will ensure each team member is updated on the resident's latest issue and does not have to repeat the story to every team member.
  4. Sticky Notes Are Not Friends - Old habits die hard, but can we all agree that sticky notes are suitable for studying and studying alone? Nothing irritates me more than a desk full of sticky notes with reminders or maintenance requests. Instead of a sticky note, use a notebook to track your to-do list, so everything is in one place. Your notebook is less likely to be thrown away than a sticky note under your desk pad.

Focusing on the customer experience does not end with enhanced communication within the team, but it is a small step that will likely make a significant impact. Once you can create a good communication stream between team members, you can focus on other habits that directly impact customer satisfaction. 

What are some ways your practice better communication skills with your team? 


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