How to say ‘yes’ when you'd rather say ‘no’.

 

As we approach Christmas and we encounter the period of over indulgence, I’m sure many a person will sympathise with the problem of having to say ‘yes’ to something, be it an expensive gift, an invitation to yet another party or one more slice of the mother-in-law’s dry turkey when they really would rather pass.

It’s a common problem – having to say ‘yes’ when you want to say ‘no’. It feels offensive, negative, obstructive, right? Yet somehow, the property management industry seems to think it’s acceptable to say ‘no’ more often than is perhaps necessary or acceptable.

I have encountered many a property manager telling customers they can’t do something because the lease doesn’t allow it or that it’s not their responsibility to do. I appreciate that may well be the case, but there are ways and means of doing this that don’t upset the customer and can improve the experience for the person asking.

A lot of the time it’s because the person they are speaking to is inexperienced in leasehold management. It’s not their fault and our industry should go a lot further to educate leaseholders as to what the role of a property manager is and where their responsibilities start/stop.

Giving good customer service though is not difficult though and at POD, we ask that our staff try and help even when it is not their responsibility to do so. After all, helping someone doesn’t really cost anything.

So how do we do it? Simple - make life easy for the customer to find or solve the problem themselves if it really isn’t something we can’t do for them or, where the situation dictates, help them with the problem because it’s what we should be doing anyway and it improves the experience for the customer.

While we can’t share all our secrets on how we do it, the ethos of helping customers is something we as an industry must embrace. After all, those living or working in properties we manage are ultimately paying our fees (either directly or indirectly) so are we not there to at least help facilitate resolutions? Being nice to people, helping them, making the odd phone call, pointing them in the direction of where to find a solution or making the process simpler is all part of process of saying ‘yes’. It’s the POD way.