Maintenance issues only happen during business hours, right? If only this were the case. For property management professionals, it’s important not to keep tenants waiting when they have maintenance issues – even when they arise at the worst possible times. A slow response adds to the aggravation of a malfunctioning dishwasher after a big dinner party, or a toilet that won’t quit running. Harris Interactive states 75 percent of customers believe it takes too long to reach a live agent, and in todays on-demand world, providing a slow response or no response at all to callers could mean lost business.
According to SatisFacts Research, the average tenant expects a time-sensitive service inquiry or other request to be answered or resolved within two hours. Any phone call, email, voicemail or request in person must be resolved quickly, says Lia Nichole Smith, vice president of education and consulting at SatisFacts Research.
“If you can’t resolve the issue in two hours, just touch base with the tenant,” she said in a recent webinar . “We have to make sure we are getting to those resolutions as quickly as possible.”
A major advantage of renting over buying is that a tenant has someone to count on when a maintenance or other issue arises. But the level of customer service received can make or break a tenant’s experience in a rental property. To be successful, property management professionals need to consistently meet or exceed tenant expectations. This means delivering what they need every time, and going above and beyond with unexpected gestures when possible.
Staff should always listen attentively to tenants, express empathy when they experience problems, and maintain a positive demeanor no matter how difficult or unpleasant the tenant may be. Additionally, you want employees who put forth more effort than required and look for opportunities to help tenants feel valued—like responding to a call in the middle of the night. This will create an experience they are not merely satisfied with, but one they will likely mention to their friends.
To deliver this superior customer service, you need to be available. But where do you draw the line? Property management isn’t a typical 8-5 job, but it’s not realistic to expect staff to be on call at all hours of the day and night. You can’t do it all yourself – but it is possible to maintain great customer service with the right support system. A third-party maintenance contact center fills in the gaps with trained agents who provide 24/7 responses when tenants call with a service request, complaint or question. Tenant satisfaction is improved and the management company increases the efficiency of its staff.
A maintenance contact center can help property management companies abide by the two hour rule in a few ways:
1. Partnering with highly trained professionals
With a well-staffed contact center, your business can offer professionalism and expertise to callers around the clock. Maintenance contact centers employ trained representatives to ensure high-quality service for the single-family industry. Operators receive on-going training and are familiar with who to dispatch depending on the nature of the problem and urgency.
2. Defining and maintaining emergency and non-emergency service
When an emergency arises, it’s critical to provide tenants with immediate assistance. On the other hand, non-emergency issues can be scheduled and the resident informed when to expect a technician to arrive. With a contact center, the property can define what types of calls are to be handled as emergencies, and representatives will execute appropriately. Emergency requests can be quickly routed to the appropriate technician via phone and text message to ensure the problem is addressed right away.
3. Instantly knowing the status of service requests and responses
Maintenance calls are documented in the property management system and provide instant visibility. Through live reports, the user can include property, regional and portfolio maintenance request details like contact information, the property address and a description of the issue. Better visibility means the property is on top of the situation, which gives tenants confidence that the issue is being resolved.
4. Handling maintenance requests any time, any day
Handling maintenance requests any time of day helps improve customer satisfaction, as well as ensure compliance with applicable rules and regulations. Contact centers answer the phone 24/7 and get processes rolling to dispatch a technician so the resident issue gets resolved quickly.
Problems arise when you least expect them, and it’s no secret tenants want an immediate solution. Are you ready to employ a maintenance contact center to handle service requests 24/7 and improve customer satisfaction? Call 855-782-57906 or visit us online to learn how Propertyware will improve your single family business.