30 May The art of complaints and compliments.
We recently had someone tweet about the poor service that we gave and of course we take our complaints seriously. It got flagged up and I asked the team to respond about what had happened. An applicant had viewed some properties and made an offer on one however this was rejected by the landlord. They were complaining that we did not have their interest first and failed to ’persuade’ the landlord to accept their offer.
If landlords and tenants are our ‘customers’ who do we put first?
This applicant was a new business and therefore did not have company accounts to demonstrate their financial stability. Our landlords are our clients first and foremost and we must ensure we follow their instructions. So although tenants are customers too we are not acting on their behalf. Our clients want to know that their tenant is going to be able to stay in business and with a new business of course there is the risk factor. We have to go by our client’s wishes and sometimes that means we have an unhappy applicant.
Respecting our clients’ wishes can mean we are the broker of bad news.
We found out that the complainant had viewed properties with other agents and had the same problem. We may have to explain to would be tenants that some landlords will have received a number of offers on their property and may well chose an established business. We appreciate how frustrating it is for a new venture and will always be realistic with the applicant that some, but not all, landlords are unlikely to accept an offer. The issue may also be that there is a ‘similar’ business nearby and the landlord believes there may not be enough demand for the same service.
The ease at which someone can go and complain on social media is a double edged sword.
Yes without feedback we can’t look at how we can improve the experience someone has doing business with us. Sometimes we can’t put it right and the damage it can do to our business is greater than the issue itself. What we can do is look at how we ‘let’ down the tenant whilst also accepting that being the broker of bad news we may be seen in a negative light.
Tell us when we get it right as well as wrong. Compliments can also help us improve our service.
I recently went on to the website of one of our clients, Shorts Group, and liked the way they dealt with resolving issues and making suggestions. They also asked for compliments. As a nation we are better at complaining than we are complimenting but if you don’t ask directly you may not get to know what you’ve done right.
Like Shorts Group we are committed to putting our customers first.
However, if you are unhappy with any of our services, we encourage you tell us so we can do our best to put it right for you. Please send us an email, with as much information about why you’re unhappy and we will endeavour to put it right.
If you have a compliment or suggestion about any of our services, please let us know.
We pride ourselves on providing services of the highest quality
It is encouraging to hear good news about our services. You can help shape our services by letting us know your thoughts. You can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.