Good Customer Service Starts with Time Spent

A case study of a “Mystery Shopping company” results. on Time Vs Quality.

What impact does the amount of time spent with a prospect have on the quality or effectiveness of a leasing professional’s overall presentation?  Does quantity improve the quality of the sales pitch?  Does quantity equal good customer service?

Sales experts have told us for many years that the experience can be enhanced when the sales representative spends more time with the customer.

Think about your experience of buying a car.  Have you wondered why it takes so long to buy a car?  Could it be that the car salesperson attempts to tie up his client for hours?  After spending half a day at the car dealership, the customer feels like he wasted too much time if he does not go ahead with the purchase of the car!  While we do not recommend some of the more aggressive and manipulative techniques used in auto sales, the time principle seems to make a difference to providing good customer service according to our Ellis shopping report data.

In a review of 43,284 Ellis Shopping Reports, we found the average time spent on the telephone with the rental prospect was 5.37 minutes. The onsite presentation average length of visit was 31.25 minutes.  Are these timeframes appropriate?

What difference does the length of the phone call or property visit make relative to the chance of leasing to the rental prospect?  Here are some statistics:

Phone Calls – Average Call Length 5.37 minutes

With a call less than 3 minutes in length, only 62.1% of callers say they would have visited based on their call experience. That number increases to 87.1% when the length of time spent with the phone agent is 4 to 6 minutes. At the 7-10 minute mark, potential conversion to onsite traffic rises to 94.7%. But with an 11 minute or longer call, the highest probability of visiting was attained  95.7%.

On-site Visits – Average Visit Length 31.25 minutes

When a visit lasted 15 minutes or less, only 56.9% of prospects reported feeling motivated to lease at the community. An improvement to 86.6% was seen when the length of time spent onsite moved into the 16 to 30 minute timeframe. With visits that lasted 31-45 minutes, the percentage hiked again to 93.1%. When onsite agents spent more than 45 minutes with the customer, 94.1% of them said they would have leased based on their onsite experience.

So is a longer presentation a better presentation to attain good customer service?  

It would not be accurate to simply say the longer the sales presentation, the more persuasive.  In fact, it appears there is a point of diminishing returns.  In instances when the onsite presentation exceeded 45 minutes, the percentage of those who said they would lease only increased one point.

Yet, the data is clear!  As the length of the call or visit increases, the chance of a successful leasing presentation and close jumps up significantly.  With more time, the leasing professional has time to fully qualify the prospect and get a clearer understanding of the customer’s needs, and then sell the community according to those wants and desires.

Hopefully you’ve found our real-time experiences and ideas insightful.  Please visit our training page for several topics related to customer service that supports good customer service.