A Moving Experience

I have just had a moving experience, literally. Last week we pulled up stumps in Brisbane and moved to Melbourne. As I write this tip sitting at my beautiful old kitchen table in our new home I am thinking about the 26 or so suppliers of personal and professional services we have used over the past few months, a mixture of franchised and independent operators. Some were outstanding, most were mediocre and a few were, let’s say, hopeless.

In hindsight, there are two reasons why only some of these people delivered an outstanding service which I would unreservedly recommend. The first is they used a good process. The second is they delivered it with a high level of zeal and care.

Several of the franchised systems we used obviously had a process, but the person delivered it in a sloppy or half hearted manner. For instance one started off well but failed to follow through on his promises. Another had a mindless approach that left us feeling more like a number than a customer. On the other hand several of the independent business operators were highly enthusiastic and full of good intentions, but were all over the place because they weren’t following a process. This resulted in frustrating inefficiencies for them and us.

Being rigid for a reason

All the excellent performers combined a proven process with enthusiasm, care and attention to detail. Take Reuben, the young real estate agent who sold our Brisbane house. His initial sales presentation was delivered to my wife face to face in our home while I participated virtually on Skype from the Denver airport. I tried a number of times to speed him up or get him to jump ahead, but he stuck to his process, explaining patiently and with good humour why it was in our interests that he take us through each step. Reuben consistently combined this commitment to using the process developed by his franchise system with enthusiasm and dedication to keeping us satisfied.

We had a similar experience with Sue, our mortgage broker. At times she was almost rigid in how she took us through her process. However she always explained why she insisted on certain things and regularly took the initiative to ensure we felt supported. Again it was good process with a human touch.

The process and the passion

Not all the great performers were part of a franchise. Take Karin, an independent buyers advocate we used to find our Melbourne home. We used her because she was highly recommended, and I wasn’t disappointed. Karin got it right because she followed a process she had obviously developed through trial and error. For instance, after each house we inspected she would give me a detailed report on the house and the area. Whenever I asked to see this report prior to visiting a house, she insisted on sticking to her process, explaining that she has found it best that I first gather my own impressions of the house before being influenced by hers. Similar to the other excellent performers, she clearly enjoyed her work and was always cheerful and available when we needed her.

Whether you are part of a franchise system or not, a good process implemented with passion and care is what creates a truly moving customer experience. And as we all know, this is what ultimately drives referrals, growth and profitability.

Until next time,

Greg Nathan

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