Written Posts

Customer Retention Is About All The In-Betweens

6 Comments 09 November 2011

At the beginning of October we held one of our bi-annual training sessions for our leasing teams at J.C. Hart.  As part of that process we generally ask everyone prior what things they are looking to learn and if there is anything they would like us to focus on.  One of the topics consistently mentioned was “Resident Retention”.  As this training was mainly geared toward the leasing process, answering the phone, and building rapport with new prospects we didn’t have time to cover this particular area unfortunately.  However, I did begin to think about that topic and instead of pushing off the idea until the next training I took the opportunity to share my perspective on “Resident Retention” with the group.  It actually didn’t require an entire session to discuss and review, but I do think we can go further down the rabbit hole with this as we move forward.  Here’s my position on “Resident Retention” and why I think this works for any type of business.

1.  It’s about all the in-betweens – What’s that mean?  Once we create a strategy, method, or process for anything then it becomes the status quo.  The customer expects us to do those things as a minimum.  It’s no longer a surprise to them and the value of the strategy or process get reduced.  We bring value by surprising the customer in-between all the process driven interactions.  Of course the basic blocking and tackling is necessary, but what are you doing in-between the standard protocol and how are you keeping that fresh, new, and full of surprise?

2. One-to-one beats mass – “We create as much information in two days now as we did from the dawn of man through 2003.” –Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google  Think about that for just a minute.  We have to filter so much content and information today that we instinctively seek out recommendations for what to read, what to buy, and what to do next.  There is so much clutter in our world now that the most effective way to communicate with people is one-to-one.  Give someone your personal attention and it will go so much further than the next mass message you send to them.  Think about all the opportunities you have to communicate one-to-one and expand on the last mass message you sent or create an in-between moment.

3. Care just a little bit more – Taking the time to have that one-to-one conversation or to create surprises for your customers is about caring just a little bit more than the next person, but it can pay huge dividends.  Caring can snowball.  The story you share or the surprise you create can be inspiring.  People want to be inspired.  We want to see someone else having success and we want a part of that.  It’s why so many of us believe in something bigger than we are, why we admire our parents, why we are obsessed with celebrities, and why we insist on “Liking” all sorts of things online.  We’re seeking inspiration to be better, and when we find it we care more and we’re more successful ourselves.

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