By: Rommel Anacan | The Relationship Difference
If your employees answer phones onsite with some variation of these greetings:
“It’s a GREAT day at Quail Run Apartments!”
“It’s a BEAUTIFUL day at The Enclave!”
“It’s an awesome morning at Eagle Creek. Home of world-class service, 24 hour apartment maintenance, Satisfaction Award winner for 3 years running, fresh-baked cookies, and the best coffee outside of Seattle…!”
I think they’re making a mistake!
Here are four reasons why I think onsite teams should ditch the ‘gimmick’ phone greeting and just use something short, simple and professional like this;
“Thank you for calling Briarglen Apartments!
My name is Rommel. How may I help you today?”
Reason One: Employees Hate It
I have trained many, many people during my career and I have yet to run into one frontline leasing person who loved answering the phone with “It’s a great day at …”
If your leasing associates hate answering the phone this way, it will show up in their phone calls. Most leasing agents don’t like the phone or are not good at the phone to begin with, don’t handcuff them even further by forcing them to use a greeting they can’t say without rolling their eyes.
Speaking of rolling eyes …
Reason Two: Customers Think It’s Corny
There may have been a day when answering the phone with “It’s an AWESOME day at Acme Apartments” was widely accepted and considered “awesome.” That day is no longer here, not in multifamily anyway. When customers hear that kind of greeting they are just as likely to roll their eyes as your leasing associates.
Today’s customer wants authenticity, both in the experience and in the people they work with, which leads to the next reason …
Reason Three: It Creates the Opposite Effect of What You Want
The reason I have found that many communities use these types of gimmick greetings is to stand out and be different. Unfortunately you can often end up being different and standing out for the wrong reasons. (Think Harry and Lloyd in orange and powder blue tuxedos in “Dumb and Dumber.”)
The phone conversation is often the first opportunity for associates to connect with their prospects; a gimmick greeting often sends a signal that the associate is a “used car salesman” or way too interested in “selling” and not that interested in helping; which is not the impression you want your people to give, right?
Think of it this way, using a gimmick greeting is kind of like “that guy” at the bar who goes up to someone and says, “Was your father a thief? Because I swear he stole the stars from the skies and put them in your eyes.”
Reason Four: It’s Not Always a Great Day
Imagine you’re a resident hosting a large dinner party when suddenly you realize the oven doesn’t work! You’re frustrated as attempt after attempt to restart the oven fails and you realize that your party is quickly on the verge of being a failure. In a panic you call the leasing office a few times, but no one answers the phone. Finally on the third try someone answers the phone with,
“It’s a GREAT day at Oak Glen Apartments! Home of superior customer service. luxury
apartment homes and world class amenities!”
How well do you think this greeting would go over with someone who is already upset that her oven doesn’t work, her guests are hungry and she had to call three times before someone answered the phone?
Sometimes the most effective things to do are the easiest … and you can often do more, by doing less!
“Thank you for calling The Seasons! My name is Kirsten. How may I help you today?”
Rommel Anacan is the president of The Relationship Difference; a corporate training, motivational speaking and consulting firm. His passion is helping people succeed by helping them improve the quality of their relationships. He is a multi-family housing veteran, having worked at all levels of the industry from onsite to corporate, where he developed a reputation for solving common industry challenges in an uncommon way.
You can reach Rommel at www.RelationshipDifference.com and on Twitter @rommelanacan