In a world full of services, customer service and customer experience are key differentiators from competitors. Tenants are your customers – and you probably know this, but customers want to be heard. They want to be heard, and feel seen. They want someone to receive their message, hear their worries, and promise to take action. Nothing is more frustrating than messages that are not going through, and issues and questions that nobody answers.
This is where we get to the tenant communication. Proactive communication is a huge element in creating a satisfying customer experience.
For most of us, the logic of the headline is clear. Yet too many residential real estate companies are still seeing communication mainly as a one-way road, as a task that is being done mainly when there is a maintenance message to be delivered to the residents. That is a very narrow view, often with no space for the communication coming from the tenants to the property management.
If that one-way road is widened to a two-way street, it opens a world of positive effects. Effective and proactive communication with your tenants will take the customer experience to the next level and give you a clear differentiator from your competitors.
We will dive into the dimensions of communication vs customer satisfaction with a few interesting studies, and challenge you to reflect on these dimensions from the point of view of your properties.
The findings of Microsoft’s Global State of Customer Service 2015–2022 report illustrate well the importance of customer service. After each of the findings we present, we will also ask you to reflect, how is the case in your properties.
An overwhelming 90% of respondents in Microsoft’s study cite customer service as important in their choice of and loyalty to a brand.
Question for you: What is the state of customer service in your properties? Would you say that it is a reason for your tenants to choose your property over another one, and become loyal customers?
According to the study, more than two-thirds of customers want an organization to reach out and engage with proactive customer notifications.
Question for you: Is this reality in your properties? Are you engaging your customers with proactive notifications, not leaving the communication only to the bare minimum?
The expectations are based on previous experiences, which the business needs to meet or exceed. If these expectations are not met, 58% of customers would not hesitate to switch to another service, Microsoft’s study reveals.
Question for you: Do you know what are your tenants’ expectations and are you meeting, or exceeding them? Are you aware of the reasons behind the current tenant churn, and if it could be avoided somehow?
According to the study, nearly all customers (89%) would like organisations to give them an opportunity to provide feedback, but at the same time, only 7% of companies request feedback from customers regularly. What’s more, only a bit less than half of the respondents believe that most brands take action on feedback provided by customers.
Question for you: Are you regularly asking for feedback from your tenants? And if yes, would you say that your tenants are trusting that their feedback is being considered and acted upon?
In our fast-digitalising lives, good customer service undoubtedly also means modern channels to communicate with the service provider. We can forget phone calls, letters, and bulletin boards as an effective and desired way of communication. Today’s busy and digitalised consumers want to search, find and digest the information where and when it suits them. And this applies to all customer relationships, also tenancies.
SatisFacts Biennial Online Renter Study from February 2022 describes well the tenants changing preferences:
If you did all the reflection exercises and found areas where your rental property could improve, you may now also be thinking about how to address these challenges – and where to start. There is no point in trying to find several different tools to solve these issues, it easily obscures the big picture and ultimately serves no one. One digital tool can solve all your needs at once.
Hococo's Tenant Experience and Operations Platform includes comprehensive communication tools that serve the needs of both property management and tenants.
Communication tools are just one life-improving tool in our platform. If you want to know, what you get with Hococo’s Tenant Experience and Operations platform, take a look at all the different features here on our site under Product on the navigation – or get in touch and book a free product demo!