In Part 2 – Concern and the foundations of customer experience (Click here to read the article) https://iceberg-digital.lifesycle.co.uk/blogs/part-2-concern-and-the-foundations-of-great-customer-experience, we briefly touched on setting expectations as a part of de-escalating a situation.
Imagine an acquaintance appears at your door at 7am on a Saturday morning. They say very little other than a quick, ‘Come with me.’ They expect you to get in their car and go wherever they want to take you without any explanation of where you are going, what you are going to do, or why this person you barely know has woken you and dragged you from the house at 7am! Most people wouldn’t actually get into their car without a barrage of questions. Would you?
Selling someone’s home is similar in that you are the driver and the client very often feels like a helpless passenger just going along for the ride. Instructing you is giving you the power and trust – with the hope that you are taking them to the best destination possible. They want to go but the journey there is scary because it is full of possible pitfalls and unknowns. The smoothest of experiences happen when you set expectations throughout.
1. General overview – A quick overview of the upcoming experience is important. Most agents think providing this during the market appraisal works. ‘You sign the contract, we do a take-on appointment to get photos, we begin marketing your property.’
This overview is needed but it is important to remember that an ‘experience’ with you can be a single viewing, offer or even a phone call with you. Make sure to explain how viewings will go, when you will provide feedback on those viewings, etc. Don’t wait for them to ask about it, provide a general overview.
On a phone call, explain that you will look into what they are asking about and get them sorted – you can even say you are looking at the notes, or go through your CRM. These few additional sentences are low maintenance for you and will bring them some relief.
2. Stay 2-3 steps ahead – Explaining the next step you or the client must take is almost never enough. Remember the acquaintance and the car? Imagine if they wanted you to put an eye mask on as well. Going blindly forward and trusting them to keep you safe, protect your best interests…
A basic part of human psychology is curiosity – the chemical urge to seek out knowledge. This urge can often turn into anxiety if you are not comfortable or knowledgeable on the processes you are taking part in. Explaining the next three steps instead of one will give your clients a sense of direction. An example would be explaining the viewing and viewing feedback process as well as talking about how offers will be presented before you schedule the first viewing.
3. Round up with next steps – When you’ve had an in-depth conversation with someone, it is hard for them to remember everything you said or plan to do. It’s always a good idea to round up with everything you talked about. Keep it brief and to the point – now is not the time for additional details as it will overwhelm the client and you are likely to have to round up on your round up! Confirm understanding and you will be ready to move forward with a client who is comfortable and trusting.