Words like 'professional', 'helpful', 'courteous', 'reassuring' and 'effective'; phrases like 'took a genuine interest', 'honest opinions', 'kept us well informed' and most frequent of all 'would have no hesitation in recommending'.
To see this review in full just click on the red 'Castles' link in the first paragraph (above). This will take you to Castles' website where you will see their Dialogue module with all their client reviews across all their services (buyers, sellers, landlords and tenants).
The secret of their success? Nothing unusual, but total commitment to the concept of building reviews into the customer service process. Castles' clients are expecting the email inviting them to post a review, so they do just that.
How is Dialogue being used by estate agents?
This has been a learning curve for us at HelpHound since we launched Dialogue to estate agents at Property Drum in the spring. Our hotel clients use Dialogue to (a) drive direct bookings through their websites and (b) manage complaints before they are posted on sites like TripAdvisor for all to see.
Estate agents like both these aspects – encouraging enquiries and neutralizing complaints - but are also specifically using Dialogue to drive up their 'valuation to instruction' success rates. By showing prospective clients relevant reviews to address specific issues and questions (an iPad helps here).
Karen Hutchings, our Head of Client Administration (who will be familiar to many readers of this blog!) spoke to Duncan Pate, MD of Castles, and asked him what he considered the core benefits of Dialogue. His answer:
"Independence and credibility; it's not something we could have done ourselves." She went on to ask him if he thought Dialogue aided conversion. His response was candid: "We wouldn't be paying for it if it didn't."
The key to getting reviews
Agents are unanimous: the invitation must be sent by the member of staff the client has dealt with, and it should be followed up with a call explaining why the review is so important. Then the reviews will flow.