The number one complaint . . . by a longshot . . . we get from our tenants and people who are interested in our homes is, “Why don’t you answer the phone?”.
If you read our reviews, people who score us very low, are generally complaining about our interaction with them and complain specifically about this subject.
As a consumer myself, I agree it is frustrating to want to talk with someone and not be able to? Because we believe in uncomfortable transparency, I’d like to give you a “peek behind the curtain” to explain why . . .
1. We get thousands of phone calls every week
This is everything from people looking for homes, current tenants, and owners. We would need a team (a very large team) of people to answer all the calls . . . and really, we would love to hire that team. The only problem is to have that many people on the payroll would affect what we would need to charge our owners for our services.
If we charge our owners more, then they would in turn increase the rent on the homes to cover our additional costs. That would just make the homes more expensive to rent than they are now…and that’s not something we believe tenants want!
What’s our solution?
Since most of the calls (95%+) are for people looking for homes, we implemented a bunch of user friendly technology solutions for seeing a home. The first thing we’ve done is attempt to make our website extremely user friendly.
Most people have similar questions when they are looking for a home and we attempt to answer those questions for every home we have listed for rent. Secondly, we use technologically advanced ways to see our homes. We use a self-showing service to allow people who want to see the home to simply show themselves the home. What’s easier than doing it yourself?
While technology is not perfect and loses the “human touch”, we are working on more ways to bring humanity into our leasing process . . . so stay tuned!
2. We think it is best to communicate in writing
What is our solution?
In our office we have two people who do nothing but assign cases (cases are questions from tenants and owners that need to be responded to) to people in the office and organize our communication. We believe so much in communication, we’ve hired people to be in charge of it!
To kick off a case, anyone can simply send an email to [email protected]. Once we receive your email, it will be reviewed by our operations coordinator and answered if they know the answer or can get the answer. If they can’t answer it, then they will assign the case to the most knowledgeable person in the office so they can answer it. They also manage the backend to make certain that all the team members are answering questions in a timely manner.
See how easy it works?
I saw this infographic saying that 80% of people who contacted customer service preferred someone to respond to them via a phone call.
Email is a distant second on the list.
If we could, we would love to give the people who contact us a wonderful experience.
I’m curious, now that you know a little bit of the “inside”, what do you think you would like to see from gk with regard to answering the phone?