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Service Recovery = Lemon Meringue Pie

Customer service isn’t always rainbows and sunshine. Sometimes a service failure occurs and you find yourself dealing with an upset customer. Like the old adage, “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” It is the ability to turn a negative into a positive. Service recovery is taking the lemons and whipping up a delicious lemon meringue pie: taking something negative and not just making it a positive, but making it so positive that just the sight of it makes people smile – and want more. Lemon meringue pie is meant to be shared, and the resident is so satisfied and impressed that they tell everyone about how well they were treated and how happy they are to be living in a place that really cares. They have become a loyal resident, sharing there happiness on social media and dishing up slices of pie to friends, family, and coworkers. That’s service recovery.


Mark Vanderhoof is co-presenting "Maintenance Day: Customer Service Recovery Paradox" at the 2015 NAA Education Conference & Exposition.  You can register for the conference here, and add Mark's session to your schedule on Friday, June 26th at 2:15pm.

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CUSTOMER LOYALTY: I Am the Complaint Department? Now what?

Welcome back! In last week’s blog, Go Ahead…Encourage Your Residents to Complain, I shared some examples of how encouraging customer complaints can improve their experience and increase customer loyalty.  While it is important that employees make it clear that they welcome complaints, all too often they are not given the tools they need to handle complaints effectively. So, before you pin your employees with the “I am the complaint department” button, teach them how to respond, and effectively handle resident complaints.  1. Shut Up and File Your Nails! My first leasing job was at a community located in South Florida. The Property Manager always had a drawer full of finger nail files and polish at her desk. I found it odd that she frequently gave herself a manicure while at work—but did not dare ask why.  One day as I was walking by her office I saw her filing and painting her nails—again! I was really busy and a little irritated. How dare she look so relaxed while I was running around like a crazy woman trying to help residents! When I finally got my nerve up to ask her about this odd behavior, she openly revealed her secret to me.  Each time I saw her filing and painting she was on the phone with an unhappy resident.  She told me that it helped her to stay calm and listen intently to the angry residents that were screaming at her over the telephone. Genius! If resident retention and loyalty is the......
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