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Creating Emotional Brand Connections, Through Stellar Customer Service

I am a huge promoter of technology and innovation; they make life better, faster and more efficient however, it’s vital not to underestimate the need for balance between innovation and a personal connection. For instance, last weekend my daughter had us drive an hour to have breakfast down the shore. While the food is undeniably tasty and the vibe quirky and fun, the real draw is the way they make you feel; the way that they know your name, chat with you at your table, bring you coffee while you wait in line, and make you feel like you are the most important person that walked through the doorway that morning. They have irrefutably created an emotional brand connection through their personal touch and stellar customer service, validated by the parade of loyal customers that line out the door waiting for their turn to share in the experience.  Creating a positive, emotional connection with customers will take you further to establishing a long-term relationship than any other strategy you could roll out. Here are 3 ways you can create an emotional brand connection through extraordinary service, and taking a genuine interest in your customer base. 1. Listen. Jot down the nuggets they share about their life. For instance, if you know their son is a little nervous about joining Little League for the first time; ask how he’s doing. Everyone wants to feel they’re important enough to be remembered and that people genuinely care. 2. Court Your Prospects. Selling is a lot l......
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DEAR GABBY: Net Promoter Score

DEAR GABBY: Net Promoter Score
Dear Gabby,   What is a Net Promoter Score and why is it relevant to me?  #JohnnyDollar$igns     Dear #JohnnyDollar$igns,   I’m a little disappointed. I thought your submission was going to go down something like this… JohhnyDollar$igns: I want to share everything with you Dear Gabby: Let’s start with your bank account   **Sigh**…maybe one day. But I must say, I love the question. A Net Promoter Score (NPS) is something that I get asked about quite a bit. It measures the loyalty that exists between a supplier and a consumer.  You know, like the reason you’ve been going to the same tailor for years…because he really suits you.   Well, this loyalty metric calculates NPS scores ranging from −100 to +100. For example, cheating ex-boyfriends typically land in the -100 range while a mythical creature like Prince Charming would land in the high positive zone.  If you happen to find a Prince Charming, please capture it safely, keep it alive, and bring it in for additional research. I’d like to study it and figure out how to replicate it.     Net Promoter Scores are calculated using the question, “How likely is it that you would recommend our company/product/service to a friend or colleague?” (1-10 Scale)     Promoters (score 9-10) are loyal enthusiasts who will keep buying and refer others, fueling growth Passives (score 7-8) are satisfied but unenthusiastic customers who are vulnerable to competitive offerings.  Detractors (score 0-6) are unhappy customers who can damage your brand and impede growth through negative word-of-mouth. &nb......
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Quit Trying to Wow Me. Just Help a Girl Out

Quit Trying to Wow Me. Just Help a Girl Out
"Hi. I called about 30 minutes ago asking for a new set of sheets for my room, and I wanted to check on the status?" I say into the phone at 11:55 p.m. as my kids are piled in bed with their dad, their own bed damp due to a leaky diaper.  "We're SO sorry for the delay! I'll put the request in again. As a way to apologize for the inconvenience, we'd like to offer you dinner on us at the hotel restaurant." "Thanks, but we're leaving in the morning. Can I just come to the front desk and pick up the sheets myself?" "Oh, no, no, don't worry about that. We don't want to inconvenience you! We'll get them up to you as soon as we can!" Another 20 minutes and I finally get some sheets. And 10 minutes after that I was gently trying to redistribute my family members to their appropriate beds without a major meltdown.  Look, I get it that we've all had it drilled into our heads that 'Exceeding Customer Expectations," "Going the Extra Mile," and "Knocking Their Socks Off," is how we're going to earn our customers' loyalty, but sometimes it's a lot more basic than that. Sometimes a girl just need some dry sheets. Right now. Dinner, a hotel credit, free laundry service is nice. It looks fabulous on paper. But the memory that will linger is the amount of time I paced the floor in the middle of the night, checking out......
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Resident Retention Begins with Employee Engagement

b2ap3_thumbnail_The-half-and-halfspecial.png  We've been receiving quite a few requests for data recently: how to overcome the most common renewal objections, what incentives are the best for securing renewals, what are the best-attended resident events, how to generate the best online reviews from your best residents.  Resident retention. There are tips and tricks and strategies galore that can be shared. The correlations are clear. However... all the data in the world on resident retention will do you no good if your team members are not engaged. I read a great article recently on Connecting Customer Loyalty with Employee Loyalty that does a great job of defining the difference between a satisfied employee and an engaged employee. The bottom line is that an engaged employee is going to be the one who impacts resident retention. Why?  A satisfied employee will do everything expected of him. He'll cheerfully answer the questions and run the reports and check the boxes. And at the end of his shift, he'll head home, content with a day's work and a day's wage. He'll wave politely at Mrs. Anderson who is hurrying up the sidewalk to try and catch someone in the office before it closes. When Mrs. Anderson calls after him, he might cheerfully tell her to please call courtesy patrol if it's an emergency, or he might not hear her. It's 6:01 p.m., after all. An engaged employee will not only do everything that's expected of him, but he'll go a step further, when he can, to ensure the......
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Working with Millennials in Property Management

Working with Millennials in Property Management
My assistant recently announced her retirement. I was not surprised as she has been alluding to it for months now. Over the past few months, I have also been asked to be on a search committee for a mid-level management position and help with other various candidate interviews. Reflecting on those interviews along with the excitement of leading my own search for a new assistant sparked my interest on the thoughts and perceptions of working with Millennials in the property management industry. First, let me disclose that I am a millennial. I work primarily for millennial residents as I manage a graduate and student family housing apartment community. As a renter and consumer, I like things new, shiny, and technologically advanced. When I need to know something, I need to find it quickly on my iPhone or iPad preferably using Wifi to avoid data charges. AT&T captures Millennials fairly well with their “We Want More” commercial. Check it out here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OnA3C9Af_oc. Let’s start with Millennials and Career Progression. Millennials want to climb the ladder quickly. This should not be a hard concept to grasp. If you know a high-schooler, then you know that everything is competitive. Academics, athletics, volunteerism, college admissions. Some of these kids will carry that ultra-competitive spirit throughout college and into your community office. The idea of just leasing apartments for several years will not be enough for many Millennials.  Here is where great managers will set themselves apart from the rest. Let them grow. “Managers need to really ......
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GENERATION Y: Are They Transforming Your Workplace?

“More Than Meets The Eye!” This was the tagline for the “The Transformers,” a line of toys that was introduced to the USA in 1984. Their remarkable transforming play features piqued the interest of both children and adults all over America at a time when we all needed a little distraction. Today, we have a new line of “Transformers” and their name is Generation Y. Whether you see them as the heroic Autobots or the evil Decepticons, they are transforming Corporate America and are here to stay! Some older generations may view them as lazy, lacking commitment, drive and discipline. In reality, they are highly educated, media-savvy, tech-dependent, flexible, loyal, adaptable and group-anchored. Generation Y is uniquely different than their parent’s generation and they are transforming the way we do business— inside and out. The fast-track does not appeal to this young generation and they are willing to trade high paying jobs for flexible schedules and a better work/life balance. Things that make you go hmmm… While some companies are standing their ground and sticking to the “This is the way we have always done it” philosophy, others are taking the position, “If you can’t beat them—join them.” They are causing many business leaders to scratch their heads as they seek to understand this generation of workers and customers.     How do we attract Gen Y as customers and employees? How do we motivate Gen Y to buy and to join our company? How do we retain Gen Y as c......
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