What Buyers Really Want

Perhaps you saw the June Consumer Reports magazine, which rated retailers based upon customer surveys. When it came to service, Dillard’s was the readers’ top pick and Kmart, Walmart and Sam’s Club were at the bottom.

The magazine quotes Jack Abelson, president of Jack Abelson & Associates, a retail-consulting firm in Kansas, as saying that service is deteriorating industry-wide because of retailers’ fixation on low prices.

“The trouble today is that the staff is not trained to be anything but glorified cashiers and security guards,” he is quoted as saying.

Do you hear the message that shoppers and buyers are sending? They want good customer service and are willing to pay more to get it. If that’s true in housewares, it’s also true in houses.

Customers aren’t always after who has the best deal, biggest discount or blaring promotion. They aren’t always concerned with which builder is reducing their homes by $20,000 … or is including granite and hardwood at no additional cost … or has the lowest interest rate … or is giving away a free washer and dryer with every new-home purchase.

Buyers want to be appreciated and the best way to let them know they are is to deliver consistently good customer service that goes above and beyond what’s expected. Home buyers don’t want glorified contract-writers. They’ll spend $400,000 for a new home; but having a salesperson who knows how to demonstrate the features of the home and honestly tell them what a value it is? That’s priceless.

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