Does Your Customer Service Measure Up?

Real Estate Agent with eXp Realty

A friend of mine wanted to take me to lunch for my birthday last week. When she asked me where I wanted to go I suggested my favorite sushi place on Albuquerque’s west side.

I should have known something was up, because when we walked into the restaurant, the owner, who is frequently at the front and usually is very friendly, didn’t greet us with the same enthusiasm as usual. But I didn’t really think much of it, I mean we all have bad days, right?Waiter

My friend and I were seated, ordered our food, and everything was going well for the first part of our meal. We were having fun talking, laughing and enjoying our food.

Well, evidently the employees were hungry too, because after we got our food they all came out and sat down and started to eat. That’s cool, everyone’s got to eat, right? The problem is, our server proceeded to totally ignore us for the next 20 minutes. My friend had to walk over to her table to ask for more Wasabi. I had to flag our waitress down to get another drink.

Alright, enough whining right? No big deal.

However, it got worse. The owner started walking around the restaurant closing window blinds and turning the
lights off while we still had food on our table.

Evidently they close every afternoon between lunch and dinner, and they had places to go and people to see. Unfortunately, they didn’t say anything to us when we walked in like “we’ll be closing at 2pm.” Maybe they were worried that if they had, that we might have gone to the sushi place across the street. After all, it’s pretty good too.

But no, instead they said nothing, seated us and reluctantly gave us less than spectacular customer service. The food was still good, but the dining experience was greatly diminished.

We still had a great lunch, and as I drove away, instead of being upset, I reflected upon the level of customer service I had just been provided and I wondered, “do my clients ever feel like I’m distracted or like I’m giving them less than my absolute best?” Does it ever seem to them like I‘m just going through the motions?

Geez, I sure hope not.

I love my clients, they make my world go ‘round! I like to think I am always 100% engaged when we are out there looking at Albquerque Homes for Sale. I want their experience to be like my experience is at the Apple store. Ever shopped at the Apple store? They make you feel like you’re not just buying a machine, but like you are the most important person in the world with their product demos.

Without our clients we are nothing! Make sure you're treating them like Royalty!




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  1. Jordon Wheeler 01/21/2012 02:15 AM
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Chuck Carstensen
Minnesota Real Estate Expert
RE/MAX Results

That is sort of strange isnt it? However there is probably a lesson for us to look at our service like you ask.

January 21, 2012 02:12 AM
Jordon Wheeler
J W Group Real Estate Sales and Service
The Jordon Wheeler Group

Hey Rich,

Sometimes it takes a bad experience in another's person business to help reflect on what we know is a good experience in our own business.  Hopefully the company of your friend and the good food made the birthday lunch better.  Best of success to you this year!

January 21, 2012 02:13 AM
Ron Cooks
Texas Real Estate, Ft Hood/Killeen Homes for Sale
Options Realty Group / Credit Consultant

Rich - It's about providing more value than you receive monetarily.  Once more people get that, good customer service won't be something to brag about; it will be the norm.

January 21, 2012 05:44 AM
Ken Brandon
Camp Lejeune, Jacksonville, NC
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Advantage (Jacksonville, NC)

This is a good story with a valuable lesson. I have always believed if you aren't getting referral business, and that percentage continues to grow each year, then the service you think you are providing probably isn't being seen by your client as so valuable.

January 21, 2012 08:18 AM
Stella Barbour
Principal Broker, Serving Virginia and Maryland
NoVa Brokers LLC

I hate when that happens.  You get good service all the time and as soon as you bring someone in there with you, all the bragging you did goes down the tubes and instead of gaining a another customer, they may have lost 2.

January 21, 2012 10:14 AM
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty
eXp Realty

Jordan, Oh we still had a good time, but since we are both Realtors and in the customer service industry the poor service definitely didn't go unnoticed.

Ken, And do you think I will be referring more friends to go there? Doubtful.

Stella, Exactly! I was somewhat embarrassed for them and for myself.


January 21, 2012 11:49 AM
Peggy Chirico
REALTOR® 860-748-8900, Hartford & Tolland County Real Estate
Prudential CT Realty

Hi Rich - It would have been much better if they had at least explained why they were acting that way. Just being upfront would help you not feel so slighted.

January 21, 2012 01:42 PM
Pamela Seley, REALTOR®
Menifee Lakes California Real Estate

Rich, this is a good lesson and reminder how we treat our clients. Like you, I love my clients and without them I have nothing. I do think the restaurant should have let you know they close promptly at 2 pm. You probably would have respected that, but now you have a little bad experience that you'll remember. The same could be said for our clients if we treat them the same way.

January 21, 2012 02:54 PM
Jane Peters
Connecting you to the L.A. real estate scene
Power Brokers Int'l

Call me crazy but one experience like that would be the last.  We always need to be on top of our game and often we get business because we are and others aren't.

January 22, 2012 12:48 AM
Debe Maxwell
Charlotte Homes for Sale - Charlotte Neighborhoods | Savvy + Company Real Estate

Jane, you're NOT crazy!  I would not go back there and I would not expect clients to use me again if I provided that type of service either.  Our industry AND theirs, is full of medocricy and providing over-the-top, world-class customer service sets you apart from the rest in any service industry.  In MHO, that should be EVERY business owner's goal!

January 24, 2012 11:00 PM
Michelle Gibson
Hansen Real Estate Group Inc.

Rich - WOW, I wonder if their food is soooo spectacular that they can get away with providing horrible service.  

January 25, 2012 05:55 PM
Rich Cederberg
eXp Realty
eXp Realty

Peggy and Pamela, Exactly. Like I told a client today, "I'm in counteroffer on two deals right now, plus I have an offer coming in, I"ll have to call you back later when I can give you my undivided attention." Believe me, my lunch experience came to mind.

Jane, I think you're right. I thought about emailing this to the owner so he could see what my experience looked like from where I sat.

Debe, Yes, this was a sobering experience. 

Michelle, No food is that good, at least not for me. I want the whole experience!

January 25, 2012 11:27 PM
Emily Medvec
Realtor, Santa Fe NM |CNE CRS RSPS | 505-660-4541
Keller Williams Santa Fe

Rich, belated happy birthday! Your story is a rich lesson about customer service. There is never no excuse for it in our business.

January 29, 2012 04:32 PM
Bill Gassett
Metrowest Massachusetts Real Estate
RE/MAX Executive Realty

Rich does not sound like a good experience at all! Obviously they were thinking about the quick buck and not long term success.

February 03, 2012 02:40 PM
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Rich Cederberg

eXp Realty
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