Having your name, brand and message spread by fans to prospective customers at no cost sounds like the dream marketing campaign. However, social media can be a double-edged sword with expectations of faster responses, the ease of sharing poor experiences and the risk of search results being permanently damaged.
Put simply, the dynamics of social media means that traditional approaches to customer service need to be reviewed.
In this short article Rajeev Nayyar of Fixflo looks at threats and opportunities for letting agents.
Property is still fundamentally a “people” business. Whether you are buying or selling, letting or renting, the relationship with an agent needs to be based on trust.
Social media has allowed letting agencies across the UK to build relationships of trust with their target customers more quickly and easily than ever before.
From highlighting staff/corporate personalities to underlining business ethics, agencies now have a platform to not only say but to show how they are different from their competitors.
Social media has also levelled the playing field by giving agencies large and small access to the same distribution channels.
By promoting relevant quality content through social media, smaller agencies can show their expertise and position themselves as market leaders.
For tips to grow your lettings business through social media/content marketing please click here.
News of poor service and perceived poor service can spread just as quickly as positive stories.
Social media is a two way street. Three key points for you if you have social media accounts for your agency are:
- customers can use them to raise issues with your service;
- customers expect a fast response to issues raised; and
- these trends are accelerating.
[see statistics at end of article for details]
As noted by Ashley Alexander of BrandEMPower: “We find that the companies that struggle the most with complaints by social media are those that are caught off-guard. A clear customer service policy with time frames for responses and processes for escalation are a necessity for every letting agency with a social media account.”
When you are choosing a new service provider do you search for them online first? If your customers do, what will they see about you?
Recent cases concerning the right to be forgotten appear to give individuals the right to have embarrassing past episodes expunged from the web. This does not extend to businesses.
The real risk to you is the unknown comment or post that affects your business. We suggest that you periodically search the web for results relating to your company name and where possible you deal with any negative comments and thank posters for any positive comments.
- Recognise that social media is a two way communication channel
- Respond promptly to all issues raised by social media
- Provide a forum for complaints/issues to be raised and dealt with away from your outward facing social media sites
View from the Industry
Andrew Huddison of Oxfordshire letting agency HuddisonJacob commented: “Every tenant, landlord and contractor we work with is provided with a code of conduct setting out in plain English what we and what they can expect. By building this level of transparency into our processes disputes and issues can be avoided rather than having to be resolved.”
What we do
Fixflo supplies letting agencies and property managers with market leading rental property repair software systems.
From a 40 language guided repair reporting system for tenants to a full repair reporting to repair resolution workflow, we help you to deliver a high quality repairs service with less effort.
By capturing key data throughout the property repair process you have the metrics you need to drive continuous improvement and resolve bottlenecks before they become an issue.
What our clients say
"Fixflo is so simple to use. What a fantastic product, our property management department would be lost without you. Great customer service as well."
Consumer Action Monitor research published in January 2014 showed that 27% of people with a complaint raised it by social media. Hubshout’s research indicates that 42% of customers raising an issue via social media expect a response within an hour.
Consumer Action Monitor research published in January 2014 showed that 32% of customers were more likely to complain about poor service than a year ago.