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Know The Bear!

In my first blog, I detailed my experience with a Leasing Associate who shocked me in a good way with a simple act of extraordinary service.  In fact, my interraction with her shed a new light on what we could do to service residents better at our own communities.

"Customer Astonishment" by Darby Checketts has been one of my go-to books for all things customer oriented.  In the book, Checketts details 10 secrets to world-class customer care which can be applied to any industry.  My personal favorite is #5...Know the Bear.  We all have a bear chasing us, nipping at our heels, ready to pounce any second and take a lease from us or even a long-term resident.

Here are the 10 secrets as outlined in Customer Astonishment:

#1: Be Customer Champions!
Know what your team stands for and communicate it through words and actions. Champion your core purpose in direct response to what your customers want and need the most.

#2: Get Connected. Know the interdependencies represented by your own Chain of Customers. Make communication linkage a top priority that demonstrates the importance of all of your customers, internal and external.

#3: Get It Together. Quickly resolve internal conflicts so they do not become apparent and weaken the customer's confidence in your team. Achieve crystal clear agreement on team priorities and individual responsibilities.

#4: Know Your Customers. Listen to them. Observe them. Make a commitment to NO SURPRISES, except on their birthdays. What you promise is what they get and more.

#5: Know the Bear. There is a bear out there, behind you. Faster is not fast enough. Reliable is not reliable enough. World-Class means you set a standard for the world to follow. The bear cannot keep up.

#6: Take Ownership. Champion the idea that "I am the one." For each member of your team, this means "I am the one who first spoke with the customer. And, at the end of the day, I am the one who will follow through to be sure we met their needs."

#7: Stake Your Reputation. Create your very own Hallmarks of Professional Excellence. Seize those crucial moments of truth in a way that shows your true commitment to each customer.

#8: Add Value at Each Step of the Way. Be sure that whatever it is that you do, you do it with the customer in mind.

#9: Smooth the Way. Always treat the customer as an honored guest. Never place your convenience above that of the customer. Your professionalism will shine as you do.

#10: Create Options. Never say "No" to the customer. No is often uncreative. Yes is great, but may be over-commitment. The customer needs options. Create them. Even partial solutions are better than roadblocks. Be a world-class problem solver!

QUESTION: Which of these 10 secrets will help you in astonishing your residents?
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