When you think of exceptional customer service companies, brands such as Apple, Amazon and Nordstrom immediately come to mind for most people. It’s interesting that companies that are the best in their category are often known for having the best customer service. They also typically have the best products, processes or services, but it is the customer service component that resonates with most of their remarkably loyal fans and followers. Their customers often rave about their experiences, becoming unpaid company evangelists.
For Form Simplicity, Brenda Ghibaudi is one of its biggest champions. When you ask the Florida 1st Realtor with Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate, located in South Florida, about the support she receives, she will tell you that Form Simplicity ranks beyond triple-A: “I would rate them, compared to any other customer service or tech support, a quadruple A,” she says.
It is the little things that add up to big benefits for Brenda, she explains. “They are welcoming when you call — and they call me by my first name when they answer the phone. And they treat you great, regardless if you are tech savvy or not real techie at all; they are like chameleons in which they adjust to the level of the person who is calling in,” she adds. Brenda also loves the fact that she can spend a Sunday at home, and if she’s catching up on work and has a problem with a form, auto populating for example, she knows help is only a phone call away. “Being available seven days a week saves me a lot of time,” she adds.
Doing the right thing
Brenda’s experiences typifies the customer service approach that Form Simplicity strives to provide: a Customer Service experience that is unmatched by our competitors. Listening to the comments from both new and existing customers, it’s a claim we are confident we can back up. More evidence of the success of our customer service-centric sales culture comes from the fact that our client attrition rate caused by customer dissatisfaction due to customer service is practically non-existent.
Good customer service comes down to the day-to-day work that both our sales teams and our support teams provide, not only at the critical juncture of onboarding a new client onto a new transaction management system, but also long after the sale and the installation.
It’s the people that make the difference
Reading through customer survey comments for Form Simplicity, one name is repeatedly singled out for praise: our sales manager Jessica Smith. If you spend any time with Jessica, this won’t be surprising. It’s Jessica’s core philosophy that gives her the ability to provide exceptional customer service without even thinking about it. It’s not a chore for Jessica; it’s all she knows.
“I appreciate good customer service,” Jessica said, “because that’s the way I was raised: to be a kind and nice person. I have believed this ever since I can remember.” “What’s important is being able to assist people in a sincere way,” says Jessica. “People can tell if you are faking it,” she said, “you have to genuinely worry about the well-being of the person you are trying to assist, and our team, because we are part of a REALTOR association ourselves, really does care about every member in the industry.”
Why good customer service is vital
Our approach for Form Simplicity customers, she says, “is to make their experiences with us as stress free as possible. From the beginning, when we are talking to AEs, CEOs and Brokers, we give them as much information up front as possible. We like to be forthcoming so that they know what to expect, when to expect it and what way to expect it; this includes providing a checklist of deadlines for the items that we need from them, as well as what we will provide.”
“We want to arm them with as much knowledge as possible so that they can feel at ease and really focus on bringing this great new service to their members,” Jessica adds.
She notes that for many Associations, MLSs and Brokerages, the initial onboarding process can sound scary and be troublesome, causing stress on both management and the staff that will implement the new member benefit. “They’ve already gone through many stressful committee meetings to get to the point of the installation of a new transaction management solution,” notes Jessica. “This is where our team at Form Simplicity shines.”
The implementation team is so experienced that they are able to minimize most challenges, which left unchecked, can disrupt an organization moving to a new transaction management solution.
“We want to make clients feel good,” she says. “No one is perfect and if we make a mistake, I will be the first to admit it, and we will fix it. We have a quick response time, and the goal is always to keep everyone as happy as possible throughout the entire process.”
“Perhaps our “secret sauce” is our ability to keep an open dialogue between our development team, our forms team, the team at Tech Helpline and all the staff that supports Form Simplicity, as we don’t work in silos,” says Jessica. “And because we are Realtor-centric, its part of our corporate culture to not only better understand what members are likely to experience, but plan ahead and anticipate what they need to help them do their jobs better,” Jessica further adds.
A competitive differentiator
Still, it’s the customer-comes-first philosophy that permeates the entire Form Simplicity team and distinguishes it from other options. “We don’t want our clients to feel like they have to reach out to us,” Jessica says, adding, “and so we are constantly communicating with them about new enhancements, routine maintenance times, training opportunities, and more, to make sure they know that they are our priority.”
That’s where many companies will fall short: after the sale. The sales team makes many promises, but then the folks doing the implementation are no longer connected to the sales person and the sales person is rarely contacted unless there is a problem. For Jessica, she and her team want to be copied on every email throughout the entire customer journey.
“Many of our clients become our friends,” Jessica explains, “I make it a point to stay in touch post sales and installation, just to say hello. Often, the reason you want to move ahead with a business doesn’t always come down to price and features, but often comes down to trusting the people to take you through the process.”
It is long after the contract is signed when members understand the true value of ongoing excellence in customer service,” Jessica says. “When a Form Simplicity customer calls tech support, they are getting help from the #1 tech help desk in real estate through Tech Helpline, a sister service. Our Tech Helpline team is unmatched in the industry when it comes to providing top-notch customer service.”
Brenda from Florida 1st is also a fan of Tech Helpline, she describes an episode she encountered after her recent computer upgraded. She could have lost valuable time – and money – but because Tech Helpline, which also offers general computer support, was able to remotely access and take over her computer to quickly cure the problem, she didn’t miss a beat. “It’s hard to put a value on that,” Brenda says in admiration.
Great customer service really comes down to living the Golden Rule as an organization. As Jessica says, “We treat you like you want to be treated.” Simple to say, but awesome when you make it happen.