Customer Service: Taking a look inside yourself can be scary.

homevalueleads | February 10, 2016 | Best Practices, Real Estate Agent Industry Reports

I recently wrote an article the other day about how Realtor customer service on average was mediocre and provided statistics to prove it. At Home Value Leads, we had already decided that customer service was an area that we needed to focus on and improve in 2016, but after publishing that last article, I felt that it was time to look at ourselves and see how we matched up and what steps we have made to improve.

Customer Support Survey

The primary metrics that we look at are overall customer satisfaction, monthly tickets, average first response time, and total handle time. The customer service article I wrote the other day explains what each of those means, so I won’t go into that again. One of the most important metrics, though, is customer satisfaction. How do we measure customer satisfaction? That’s simple: we ask everyone who ever interacts with our customer support. As a real estate agent myself, I am all too familiar with companies who will do everything that they can and make themselves look as good as possible to get you to sign up, but then abandon you after you write the check. To avoid that, we ask EVERYONE who interacts with our customer service, because customer satisfaction doesn’t mean only your current customers. We ask people who email in with general questions about our product, clients, and even people who are canceling their subscription by using a very quick survey (pictured to the right) in every single email that allows us to measure this.

I compared our customer service metrics for the full year in 2015 to the average for the real estate industry. Our customer satisfaction was just a touch better than the industry average, although our response times were much, much better. (See all the statics in the infographic below) The problem is, we aren’t happy with mediocre.

Steps We Took To Improve Our Customer Service

In order to improve customer service, there has to be a firm commitment to the process. We hired a full time customer support specialist to help bring down the wait times. We looked back at every single “ok” and “too long/too short” response that we received to see where we could improve our answers. We implemented a scheduling system to allow people to schedule a phone call with sales and support instead of the annoying and frustrating game of phone tag that was often occurring.  We rewrote the majority of our FAQs to make them more helpful and less confusing.  In short, we spent a ton of time and dedicated additional budget into making sure that everyone we interacted with was helped in the best way possible. Did it make a difference? See for yourself in the infographic below.

Below are 2 infographics. The one on the left represents our numbers for the full year 2015 compared to the real estate industry average. The infographic on the right shows how our customer service metrics have changed from 2015 to 2016. The statistics for 2016 are current as of Feb 10, 2016.

HVL Customer Service 2016 HVLCustomerService2015

As you can can see by the 2015-2016 comparison, the steps we have made have helped significantly. Our customer satisfaction is up over 8%, our average first response time is down 43%, and our total handle time is also down 43%. The number of monthly tickets also increased over 150% due to a large push at the end of the year to get new customers to sign on and get set up. The impressive part is that even with this drastic increase in support requests, we have been able to handle them all faster and our customers are more satisfied than ever.

Is actual customer service a refreshing idea for you? Let us prove that we rock. Sign up today for a 14 day free trial and test our product. If you run into any stumbling blocks or have any questions, feel free to test our customer support as well. We look forward to exceeding your expectations every step of the way.

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Home Value Leads offers optimized lead generation for real estate agents using lead capture websites to grow home listing pipelines. We continually test all aspects of our lead websites to ensure high conversion rates at the lowest cost per lead. New features are added regularly to enhance the experience of potential sellers and listing agents.