For property owners whose livelihood depends on keeping renters happy, tenant feedback can be a powerful tool to enhance renter satisfaction and property value.
Customer service has a reputation for being the front-line in the war of problem resolution. Your representatives get complaints directly from renters and customers alike, creating a stressful state of affairs that needs care and attention to resolve.
However, there are some benefits to this situation. While nobody enjoys criticism, the feedback that the tenants of a property provide can be invaluable for increasing the efficiency of your operation as well as your overall property value.
The Importance of Feedback
As the financial success of property management depends on renters having positive experiences, tenant feedback is the lifeblood of your customer service initiatives.
The White House Office of Consumer affairs once reported that news of bad customer service reached twice as many people as praise for good service. Due to the interconnectedness of social media, news of poor customer service is bound to reach more people than you’d want.
Consider that the average Facebook user has 130 friends, according to a 2015 report by Statistic Brain Research. A negative review by one tenant may appear in the newsfeed of their friends, along with the friends of their friends until hundreds of people have seen the scathing review that stemmed from a single negative experience.
Using Their Feedback
Okay, we get it — bad reviews are harmful. So let’s take a look at some of the ways to gather and utilize feedback to improve service.
Make Customer Service a Priority
The whole point of property management bringing dedicated tenant services on board is to enhance the customer experience beyond what the property is capable of. This is the first step of the renter feedback cycle, as your tenant support team will be the ones receiving the initial feedback.
Deloitte’s 2013 Global Contact Center Survey Report showed that the most important attributes for quality customer service included accuracy of information, ease of interaction, and accessible service. This means that providing exceptional service requires:
- Accessibility: Your service should be optimized for multiple channels, including social media, phone, SMS, and live web chat.
- Efficiency: Your representatives should be able to handle complaints quickly and without unnecessary transfers between representatives and departments.
- Personalization: Customers these days aren’t just satisfied with receiving help. They want help tailored to their specific needs. In fact, the Customers 2020 report predicts that in a few more years, personalization of the customer experience won’t be optional — it’ll be essential.
Knowing Your Renters
Knowing your renters requires being aware of the priorities, values, and needs of your tenants, and are some of the best ways to understand how to apply customer service feedback.
Keeping documented records of previous issues and suggestions can help build a comprehensive view of how your renters feel. As providers of tenant support, you should be spearheading this campaign with pre-established CRM systems that aggregate the metrics necessary to build profiles of renter needs. Once you have an idea of what they value, you can begin utilizing proactive outreach and problem solving to ideally prevent complaints from occurring at all.
Investing in the Property
After you’ve optimized your customer service to effectively gather feedback from your renters, the next step is to apply the changes to improve their experience and increase the value of the property.
But gathering feedback isn’t enough on its own. Research conducted by Forrester showed that only half of the companies that gather customer information will analyze it to provide insight about how best to improve operational efficiency. This feedback can be quantified to give you insight on how various policies of the property are perceived and structural problems that can be improved.
These initiatives can involve repainting the building, resurfacing sidewalks and parking lots to remove cracks and potholes, or even landscaping the grounds to increase aesthetic value. More costly repairs such as plumbing or roofing may have to be done sparingly, but fixes like these can go a long way in increasing property value and creating a better living situation for all of your renters.
Tenant feedback is essential to the success of all property management customer service. There’s no better way to learn what works and what doesn’t than hearing it straight from the source, and ignoring this valuable information can lead to serious blows to your revenue down the line.
However, if you gather this feedback with effective customer outreach and leverage it into a better understanding of your renters and property investment, you’ll create an experience that will help keep your renters on board for years to come.