Just One Word Will Change Your Customer Service

One of the first things we learn as children is our name. It’s our identity. It’s often the first thing someone knows about us. When someone uses our name, we feel connected.

At Newby Management, the first of our Three Steps of Service states: “Always use a warm and sincere greeting. Use a person’s name if and when possible.” We covered the importance of using a warm and sincere greeting, and today we will discuss the importance of using a person’s name.

Imagine you go to a local coffee shop for the first time. The owner introduces himself, chats with you and makes you a latte. The next time you go in, the owner remembers your name and drink order. You’ll likely leave that coffee shop feeling very positive about your experience. You’ll feel appreciated as a person and as a customer.

We train our team members to use people’s names when possible because it not only encourages good customer service, it also encourages compassion. The simple act of using someone’s name can make their entire experience with you more positive. This is especially true if they are coming in to voice a complaint. When you use their name, they will feel as though they are important and that their issue will be addressed.

Remembering resident names may feel like a challenge if you’re bad with names. We have a few tips to help you start getting those names down.

  1. Repeat their name out loud. For example, if they say their name is Jerry you can say “It’s nice to meet you, Jerry.”
  2. Write their name down.
  3. Associate their name with a picture or another person. Have you ever met someone and they said “Well, I won’t forget your name! It’s my dad’s name.” Think of a way to associate their name with something already in your memory.
  4. Stay focused on the person as you interact and continue to use their name throughout the conversation.
  5. Write down a small fact you learned about them next to their name, like “Jerry, from Ohio with two dogs.”

It’s easy to forget the importance of using someone’s name. In fact, it’s one of the most important resident relations tips we can give. If you’ve never been good at remembering names take it one person at a time. You’ll start seeing a difference in the way you interact with people right away!

How a Wallet-Sized Piece of Paper Helps One Property Management Company

Whether your team is large or small it can be hard to get everyone rowing in the same direction. What can you do to give your team direction? Make sure they know what’s expected of them at all times. At Newby Management, we help our team members stay the course with a wallet-sized Credo Card that defines our team’s goals each day. When we all remember these simple statements, we can present a unified front, offer better customer service and keep our team moving together.

In fact, the Ritz-Carlton, a top contender for customer engagement reads their Credo Card aloud each morning in an all-staff meeting dubbed “the line-up”. Their wallet-sized Credo Card is part of the Ritz-Carlton team members daily uniform. This small card helps keep their team members on track so they can offer the best customer service possible, and it shows. Ritz-Carlton consistently wins the the top spot in PeopleMetrics’ Most Engaged Customers study.

Newby Management’s Credo Card reads as follows:

Smile! Always maintain positive eye contact.

Smiling is a great way for our team members to communicate that we are here to serve happily. Much like at other service-based organizations, we want our guests, residents, and vendors to know that we are serving with pleasure and they are our top priority. Plus it takes 43 muscles to frown, but only 17 to smile, so let’s see those pearly whites!

Uncompromising levels of cleanliness are the responsibility of each team member.

Cleanliness is one way to show that we are proud of our community and work environment. Part of keeping our spaces uncompromisingly clean is to ensure that each team member takes responsibility for not only their own messes, but the daily needs of the community. When we all work together, we can keep our environments looking professional to help increase work productivity and offer good first impressions to all who visit.

Create a positive work environment. Practice teamwork.

Teamwork isn’t just good for the company, it’s good for the team members too. In fact, about 75% of employers rate team work and collaboration as “very important”. When we all work together, we can accomplish our goals faster, but also in a more diversified way. We learn different ways of doing things and we come together to realize a common goal. That’s how strong teams are built.

Be an ambassador of your community inside and outside of the work place.

We should all be our community’s best ambassador. Each team member is helping to shape the community’s story one day at a time. This means that we accept and live out the company’s core values not just at work, but in our lives. It means being as enthusiastic about your position at 6 PM as you are at 6 AM. It means sharing that joy with others and letting it become part of who you are.

Any team member who receives a resident complaint “owns” it. A one-hour response time is the goal.

Have you ever placed a customer-service call to a company when you were really upset and somehow everyone you talked to told you that you needed to speak with someone else to get your issue resolved? It’s not only frustrating, but also makes you feel devalued and even more annoyed. You start to wonder if there is anyone at the company who can actually help you. At Newby Management we have a different approach. If we receive the complaint, we help solve it from start to finish. Even if other team members need to get involved, it’s the responsibility of the first team member to own the complaint and follow through.

Escort residents and guests rather than pointing out directions to another area of your community.

Escorting residents and guests to their destination shows them that you not only have time for them, but respect them. Excellent customer service companies like Publix know this to be true. If you’ve ever asked where the bread is in a Publix before, chances are the team member stopped what they were doing and walked you to the isle. They let you know that you were more important than whatever task they were doing. That’s what we strive for at Newby Management.

Be knowledgeable of all Newby Management communities (location, amenities, etc.).

Being knowledgeable about your community amenities shows that you have a commitment to the community. You are telling your guest, resident or vendor that you love the community and know it inside and out. If you aren’t sure about basic community amenities it shows that you don’t care to learn about the place where you work, therefore you probably don’t care about the people either and that’s not a good sign. People feel confident when you have the knowledge, and especially insider knowledge, on the place where they call home or want to call home.

Use proper telephone etiquette. Always answer with a smile.

Often times, phone interactions are people’s first impression of a community or business. We want them to know that their call is important and that their needs are respected. People can tell when you answer with a smile and are ready to help them. At Newby Management, our team members answer by saying “Hello, thank your for calling Newby Management, this is Mary. How may I serve you?”. Right away, the person on the other end of the line knows we are happy to be speaking to them and are ready to serve.

Work clothing should be clean and neat. Community shirts are to be worn when and where appropriate.

When you dress nice you feel nice, and that means you are more likely to be productive. It’s true! A study published by the journal Social Psychological and Personality Science, showed that people engage in higher levels of abstract thinking when they dressed up, compared to when they dressed down. So dressing for success is not just good for your looks, it’s good for your brain too. Making sure to wear the proper team uniform also presents an organized and put-together company that people can trust.

Protecting the assets of your community is the responsibility of every team member.

When team members think of the community and the assets inside them as their own, they are much easier to protect. It’s the responsibility of all our team members to ensure that our community’s are protected. When we work together, we’ll see that less incidents happen and that our community’s run smoothly and efficiently with happy team members and happy residents.

How do you feel about Credo Cards? Does your community use them? Are your team members rowing in the same direction? Learn more about how Newby Management builds up and encourages both residents and team members by checking out more blog posts or browsing our website.