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If a property management company manages your condo corporation, you likely have a customer care number on-hand to call for urgent issues or inquiries. However, what do you do if you want to take care of the day-to-day condo corporation business? “People don’t operate in business hours anymore,” says Rolando Hernandez, national director of client relations at FirstService Residential. “Residents and board members need to be able to take care of condo business how and when it’s convenient for them.”

If you did not think of a company’s customer service capabilities initially, condo residents are likely not receiving the necessary phone support needed. “Your customer support centre should be able to resolve the vast majority of calls on the spot,” says Hernandez. “It’s all about the value of your time.” 

Want to make sure that your property management company is “answering the call” effectively and efficiently? Look for these seven tell-tale signs: 

1. They offer 24/7 customer service. 

From paying fees, completing work orders, asking a question or downloading a form, residents want to ensure they are speaking to not only the right person but a knowledgeable one at that so they can answer their questions any time of day. According to Hernandez, “there should be no difference between ‘business hours’ and ‘after hours.’” 

2. They strive to shorten the average wait times. 

Nobody wants to be holding a phone to their ear for more than a few minutes, let alone indefinitely. Do some research on how long residents are kept on hold on average. If the wait times are long, see what the company protocols are and if they are doing anything to reduce them, such as setting a benchmark. 

3. They don’t outsource call centre functions. 
Customer care representatives who are part of a management company’s staff will have a clearer understanding of how a condo corporation operates. And since they are personally invested in the company, they will likely want to do a quality job providing service. There’s also less chance of a communication breakdown if the call centre is based in North America rather than in an international country. 

4. They have multiple call centres in different locations.

Having multiple call centres ensures a backup if issues are to arise at one of them. For example, if the problem is a regional outage caused by a storm, it will not affect customer care services because another centre is available in another location. 

5. They provide support in multiple languages.

With the U.S. and Canada continuing to grow in language diversity, it’s become necessary to have customer care representatives who are bilingual or trilingual to help with residents who may not speak English fluently or at all. 

6. They provide extensive training to their reps. 

There is nothing more frustrating to a customer than for them to call about an issue and receiving no resolution because the representative lacked the knowledge to resolve it correctly. Further, a representative that provides inaccurate information is even worse. Avoid these problems by asking if the property management company is providing extensive training for their reps before taking calls, as well as continuous training. Good communication across the board makes all the difference. 

7. They make improvements based on resident feedback. 

It’s essential for the property management company to be open to improving its phone support and to ask for feedback from the same people most affected by its service - you. Ask if they have a formal process for obtaining feedback and reporting it to its customer care centre, such as a yearly survey. 

Getting your questions answered or your issues resolved in just one phone call can put your mind at ease. Make sure that you know who to call for various situations. Download our infographic, Reporting an Issue in Your Condo Corporation: Who Should You Call? by filling out the form today!

Friday December 18, 2020