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temporary housing

Corporate Housing customer service

The secret to creating loyal corporate housing customers, it’s not just a furnished apartment.

As a corporate housing company we are always looking for ways to add value to our furnished apartments, add conveniences, and increase the comfort for our guests.  Whenever I travel, whether it be for business or personal reasons, I am keenly aware of not just the differences but the striking similarities that exist across the broad spectrum of travel and tourism service providers.   There is a fairly predictable script that is acted out-  a routine, a process, an itinerary, a schedule….a lot of “predictability”.  From airlines, to hotels, rental cars, restaurants, conference facilities, and corporate housing – it’s all really very predictable.  You book your place, reserve your spot, check in, check out, pay your tab, and it’s a done deal.  When everyone plays their part the trip is uneventful and everyone is content.  There is nothing really memorable – good or bad – about this experience.

But what happens when things dont go as planned?  When the customer wants something different?  What if their request doesn’t fit into the routine?   These are the times that create memorable experiences,  they are incredible opportunities for the companies that recognize them and incredible pitfalls for companies that don’t. For me, I don’t always remember the good service that I’ve had and I don’t always remember the bad ones.   But I always remember the ones when my expectations were exceeded by a company that acted outside of their script to provide a solution to solve my needs

If you think back and try to remember an occasion where you had outstanding service, what comes to mind?  For most it’s something that occurred outside of the norm.  A company, a person, or a group of people that behaved in such a manner that made you feel unique, as if you were special, like their best customer.  Perhaps it was a time where you needed something that didn’t fit within the typical “script” or maybe you were hesitant to ask for it because you were all too familiar with the typical response.  And to your delight the company responded out of script to solve your needs, to act outside of the boundaries of the norm to treat you special.   And you will likely always remember that company.

On the flip side.  You might remember some of the more frustrating service experiences that you had.  Maybe you had a need that arose, you asked for a solution, and not only was it not solved but their was no attempt made to solve it.  Despite the fact that the company likely had the resources to solve your needs it simply chose not to because it didnt fit within their script, it wasnt in their “job description”, the person helping you had no authority to help you, and so on.  You were left feeling as if you should have gone elsewhere with your business.

Creating value is great, adding comfort and convenience is also great- but they dont always create loyal customers.  There is a long list of service providers that provide value, convenience, and comfort when it comes to corporate housing.  But what happens when something goes out of script, how do they respond?  Are their employees empowered to do the right thing or are they saddled with rigid corporate guidelines and procedures that don’t allow them to do what they know is the right thing to do.  Or maybe it takes them too long to even react to something outside of the norm, leaving their customers waiting and wondering.

This last point is really critical.  There a lots of good people that work for service companies.  These people are smart, caring, and professional.  But they are handicapped by the very organizations they work for.  They are not allowed to react quickly to the changing needs of their customers and solve problems on the fly.  In short, they are discouraged from seizing the very opportunities that would create loyal customers for their companies in the first place.  This is why only very few service companies achieve the level of creating loyal customers, and for that matter loyal employees as well.

John Mackey, the co-CEO for Whole Foods Market ( a great Colorado company known for creating incredibly loyal customers and employees) was asked this question in a recent interview- What’s the secret to creating loyal customers?  This was his response.  “We’ve all been frustrated when an organization hides behind “I can’t do that” or “it’s against policy”.   The policy is often stupid, and the person saying they can’t give you what you want knows it’s stupid.  But their hands are tied.  At Whole Foods, we empower our team members to do whatever it takes to make the customers happy.  Does that mean that they occasionally make mistakes?  Of course. But if serving the customer is the primary goal, it’s better to make a mistake by being too lenient than it is to alienate someone.”

John points to the heart of what truly matters when serving customers and creating loyalty.  We exist solely for the customers, they are the reason we are here.  So when your customers have a need your employees will solve it no matter what it takes regardless of what your procedure manual says.  And when your company culture is supportive of this approach you will achieve extraordinary results creating loyal customers  that will return to book your corporate apartments year after year.  Finally, don’t wait for these opportunities to present themselves- go ahead and talk with your customers, seek out their opinions and encourage them to make you better.   Go outside the script and surprise them with acts of extraordinary service.  They will look forward to being delighted by your service and tell their friends and coworkers of the extraordinary experiences they have.

Housing Helpers provides corporate housing and services furnished apartments in Colorado for business travelers and those seeking a spacious alternative to hotels and extended stays.  We look forward to delighting our guests and exceeding their expectations at every opportunity!

Corporate Housing    Temporary Housing   Furnished Apartments

 

 

Choosing a professional corporate housing provider, a recipe for success

Temporary HousingUsing a professional corporate housing company to handle the arrangements for your temporary housing is much like using a tried-and-true cookbook to help guide your culinary experience.  A recipe is much preferred to asking someone who has never made, or even sampled, the dish before.

With a professional corporate housing company you are ensuring not only that your employees housing is in good hands, but also that it will be handled in a professional and cost effective manner.

When selecting a corporate housing provider it’s a good idea to look for professional affiliations such as Corporate Housing Providers Association (CHPA) and the Employee Relocation Council (ERC), whos members are bound to a higher quality standard and code of ethics for business.  And always ask for references.  A reputable provider will have a track record of success that they should be willing to share with you.  Having your employees go at it alone or use an un-vouched company, one that has little or no credentials, may leave them far worse for wear in the long run. Hidden fees and unmet expectations can lead to a bad living situation; but this can be avoided by using a professional corporate housing company with verified credentials and affiliations.

By allowing a corporate housing company to manage the housing from start to finish, it will eliminate a host of unnecessary stress, and reduce costs.   A qualified provider will handle the furniture, housewares, linens, electronics, internet, cable, and provide ongoing 24/7 support for your employees.  By having your furnished housing managed by a professional, you can ease your employees travel stress allowing them to settle more comfortably, and more quickly, into a new environment.

With the right provider, booking a corporate apartment should be as easy as booking a hotel room and the accommodations are usually twice as large at a fraction of the cost.   Moreover, your housing costs are consolidated on one monthly bill that includes everything: rent, all utilities, cable, internet, phone, furniture, housewares, and if applicable, maid services.  The anxiety of multiple bills is eliminated thanks to this consolidated direct billings system.  And unlike traditional private rental housing, most corporate housing companies do not be require you to pay security deposits and application fees, an additional savings to your bottom line.   In addition to the cost saving advantage of corporate housing you are also not limited by locations.   Corporate housing can be located in residential areas, city centers, and in many locations where hotels are not located, providing more choices and variety for your employees.

Another reason to choose a professional corporate housing company over attempting an independent stab is because an established company will know the lay of the land.  Rather than staring at Google maps and trying to distinguish the noisy streets from the tranquil ones, the corporate housing company should do the footwork for you and provide valuable insights to help you choose the right location.   A reputable provider will know the individual neighborhoods and can suggest areas that suit your employee’s specific needs – whether it is a place near the mountainside or the poolside, providing them with the perfect ingredients for a great temporary housing experience.

With corporate housing all of the ingredients are included for the perfect housing recipe.  All your employees need to bring is their suitcase and tooth brush.   A good corporate housing provider will have ability to adapt to your employees specific needs to provide them with the perfect housing recipe that will not only decrease your temporary housing costs, but minimize your risks, and greatly increase the chances of creating a comfortable, home-style stay with just the right blend of professionalism and service.  The best part is you get to be the hero that found the perfect recipe for corporate housing success.

For professional corporate housing services and high quality furnished apartments contact Housing Helpers in Denver, Boulder, and throughout Colorado.

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