In the last few years, the real estate industry has experienced a shakeout similar to what’s occurred in many other industries. The number of firms has declined significantly, and the competitive environment is more intense than ever.Smart companies — ones that have survived, and will survive in the long runknow that quality customer service is key. In real estate, as in other industries today, service is no longer merely a competitive edge. Real attention to customer needs is a must for companies that want to survive into the 21st Century. What constitutes superior customer service? Here are some of the corporate philosophies my company has adhered to through 50 years in the window installation business:
Timely Service: A contractor shouldn’t hesitate to respond when called in for service of any kind on work it has performed. The customer expects — and should receive — good service as part of the contract.
Real Guarantees: To stay in business, a company must demonstrate integrity and trustworthiness. The best way to achieve this is always to stand behind any guarantee it makes. References: Coop boards today are more sophisticated than ever. Contractors should be prepared to produce references. This is another good reason to provide quality service, because sloppy work or broken promises will come back to haunt you when boards check with your previous customers.
Professionalism of Work Crews: Crews should be bonded and certified at a minimum. Beyond that, they need to be properly trained and experienced. Building personnel come into frequent contact with work crews during a project, and lasting impressions are formed by the crew’s attitude and behavior. Neatness does count, and uniforms enhance a professional image.
Cleanliness and Clean Up: The single biggest complaint residents make is that workers leave a mess. All work crews should use clean drop clothes and protect furnishings, floors, doors and elevators.
Keep Tenants Informed: At Ecker, we always schedule preinstallation appointments and meetings at the convenience of residents. This is one sure way to keep everyone working together.
Beyond these methods, we at Ecker have taken the issue of quality assurance a giant step further. After researching certification programs around the country, we chose the program of NAMI — the National Accreditation and Management Institute. NAMI provides certification and inspection services that give customers an independent quality control guarantee.
Going into the next century, we believe that its essential for the real estate industry to be serviced at the highest standards of quality. Our clients must have confidence in all of us in the industry, and that only comes form demonstrating time and again that we can provide top quality service no matter how large or small the job.