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Who Remembers The Full Service Gas Station A Modern Day Comparison
Dated: December 15 2018
Wow! Talk about a throw back! I'm sure there must a few scattered here & there, perhaps in more rural locations? As I right this I'm wondering how many you of are even old enough to remember full service gas stations??
I remember my childhood, spending days with my Grandfather in his big American car and stopping at the "service station". It was an experience not even remotely resembling today!
Well, let me set the stage. Back in the day... I'm kidding! Listen, it was a different time, a simpler time. I grew up in the Pittsburgh area of PA (go Steelers!). I remember pulling into the station, some were completely full service, while others were divided. On one side was Full Service and on the other was Self-Service. There was even a price difference, self service was slightly cheaper. (How telling that was of times to come!)
Full Service was truly FULL service! You never had to get out the car! From the moment you pulled in, the service began. The attendant would approach the window, greet you kindly and ask what grade & how much. As he was getting that started he would hit the windshield with a ready cloth or squeegee. Next he would return to the window to ask if you wanted to pop the hood so he could check the oil level. Oh boy... if you had requested a "fill up", the service really came on! Now you could even get your tire pressure checked! The whole thing was like a plainly orchestrated NASCAR pit-stop with all the rushing replaced by straight up customer service, and I remember the service was often rewarded by tipping!
What's my point? Why the trip down memory lane reviewing this bit of Americana? Well, I want to draw a comparison and make a wandering analogy to how the Real Estate Industry has changed.
Believe me, I get it! Hey I'm the systems guy, and many of the operational systems I advocate, create, and/or employ utilize and leverage the very latest technology to do more, and to do so more efficiently & effectively. I get it. I know and accept and advocate technology's role in our Industry today. But I'm also the CRM guy. As such, I recognize the absolute need for the human element in our business; the human touch.
A retrospective look at the sales and service end of our business clearly details an evolution away from the former standard of customer service, plain & simple.
I recognize that the availability of technology to the customer is what started the receding of service. Whereas; when technology first impacted our Industry it was within the professional sector. Meaning, the technological tools first introduced to our Industry served the Agent. This was great because if used properly these tools helped us do our jobs better! Helped us provide a higher level of service to our Clients! It was when technology came along to serve the general public, the trend began.
Prospects simply don't NEED agents as early on in the process anymore. Thanks to technology and the access to information that it provides to... well... EVERYONE, Agents or the selection of one has generally become an after thought. We've gone from FULL SERVICE, to SELF-SERVICE.
There are arguments for and against and frankly I've heard them all. There are merits to both.
Listen, I'm certainly NOT advocating a return to the past by way of stripping our Industry, or our Clients of the technological innovations which serve us ALL so well. I'm simply saying, I believe we can have hi-tech modern pumps at the station... and STILL have a high level of good ole customer service! Why not?
As a pro today in our Industry, I implore you to think of ways to interject the highest standards of customer service into your business practices.
Make a BIG deal about closings; handing the keys to Clients!
Answer your phone a higher percentage of times, including weekends.
Hand write more often! Send hand written thank you notes for referrals
Call prospects at least once per month
Call past Clients; stop by and say hello
I know its hard, but make the time spent with Clients ALL about the Client!
It can be hard, especially considering there's rarely loyalty from Clients to an Agent; but hey, there is a very self serving component here you must not miss. Doing these things, conducting yourself in this manner ultimately serves YOU, your business. More referrals, repeat business, greater loyalty, increased productivity!
In my book, The ABCs of Prospecting, I talk about having "an army of advocates" out in the marketplace working on your behalf to promote YOU. This is how you get that "army", and believe me... it pays dividends!
Anyway, think about it. Hey, if you live somewhere where there actually is a full service station let me know!
Our Team THE RUSSELL REALTY GROUP As a Black and Latina-owned Business, we embody top-down diversity throughout our company. There is no greater sense of pride than the pride we have in that. A tr....
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