Darren Krakowiak: Are you providing excellent customer service or becoming a doormat?


Striking the right balance between exceptional customer service and preserving self-respect is essential in our industry.

Opinions on this topic differ and can cause dilemmas for service-oriented professionals, especially when dealing with challenging clients.

Commercial real estate agents need to have a clear sense of where the line is between being accommodating and becoming a doormat.

For example, you may have encountered a situation where a client or prospect didn’t show up for a
meeting as agreed.

Granting a second chance in case of a genuine mistake is reasonable, but no-shows with no explanation should be called out and, if repeated, warrant a reassessment of their business.

Recognising when your patience is turning into subservience is key to maintaining your status as a professional service provider and a trusted advisor who delivers value.

A practical approach I learned early on, from one of my first bosses, is to set a time limit for others to arrive for schedule meetings and stick to that as a principle.

Should I be left waiting for longer than 20 minutes without appropriate notification, I am free to go.

For virtual meetings, the grace period is more like 5 minutes.

This practice not only conserves time but also underscores your worth.

It’s a reasonable and decisive way to affirm that your time, much like that of the other party, is valuable.

In our industry, it’s common to face situations that challenge our patience and emotional intelligence.

You can treat these instances as a test to not to take things personally.

Whether it’s being ignored for a scheduled meeting or being ghosted after a series of promising exchanges, maintaining a calm and composed stance is the best response.

I find that expressing perspective on the matter through a polite yet straightforward message, pointing out the issue without conveying irritation, is usually effective.

Leaders can share these principles with their team. Encouraging others to assert their self-respect in professional interactions is a good way to empower your people.

Colleagues should feel supported in making decisions that reflect both respect for the client, the resources of the business, and their own professional dignity.

Each difficult interaction is a chance for personal and professional development.

These are moments to practice detachment from the emotional aspects and a focus on logical responses.

This not only helps in dealing with the present scenario but it also prepares you to handle future
challenges.

A key aspect of thriving in commercial real estate, in my view, means striking a balance between flawless customer service and robust self-esteem.

Establishing personal boundaries, addressing hurdles with emotional intelligence, and enabling your team to do likewise, don’t just cultivate a respectful professional environment; they also contribute to a more sustainable and satisfying career.

Remember, mutual respect is the cornerstone of thriving client relationships and professional growth; no transaction or client is worth your dignity.



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