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National Mortgage Professional
Feb 25, 2008

What's your RTC factor?Nancy FriedmanRelationship, Trust, Consistency, rapport, customer service Part of my job is interviewing customers around the country. That's how we get a lot of our information on what customers like and don't like. In a recent survey, we found that there were several things customers value--things a customer wants before the product or the service. They boiled down to three basic wants, comprising what we have labeled as the "RTC factor": Relationship, Trust and Consistency. Let's go over them. 1. R: Relationship--Building rapport Building rapport is an art and not a skill, and it is a very much overlooked art. Call many companies, and the first word shouted at you is, "Name?" There's no "nice to meet you by phone" or even a "good morning." There's very little rapport-building found in today's customer service. It's not taught in our schools, and I am not aware of any company offering rapport-building skills. Telephone Doctor believes the relationship starts within the first four to six seconds of a phone call or within 45 seconds for an in-person visit. That sets the stage for the rest of the transaction. Plus, it lays the groundwork for possible future business. Rapport-building and relationships are vital to every communication exchange. It's a simple, basic process. 2. T: Trust If the customer is unable to trust what you say, the relationship will melt to zero. Gaining the trust of your customer is the key to all relationships. From following through when you promise to call or fulfilling the company's guarantee statement, creating trust is vital. If those trusts are broken, it's a big fence to mend and oftentimes never fixed. Keep your word to gain the trust of your customer. He needs to know he can count on you. Before any sale, a customer must buy you. 3. C: Consistency The McDonalds hamburger in Cancun, Mexico tastes the same as the one in Des Moines, Iowa. Why is that? Consistency is why. We have learned that the taste will be the same in each of the stores. A business should run with the same consistency. It shouldn't matter who the customer talks with at a company. I'm usually very skeptical when someone tells me, "Be sure to talk to Joe. He's the best one there." I'd rather hear, "You can talk to anyone in our office." The RTC factor is what customers look for and deserve in any of their transactions. Please submit your questions for Nancy Friedman, The Telephone Doctor, to [email protected] If your question is selected as a question of the month, you will receive a free copy of The Telephone Doctor's book, "50 Little Tips That Make a Big Difference." Nancy Friedman, "The Telephone Doctor," has spoken at the past three National Association of Mortgage Brokers Annual Conventions and is president of Telephone Doctor Customer Service Training in St. Louis, Mo. Nancy is a frequent speaker at meetings and conferences worldwide. She may be reached at (314) 291-1012 or visit
Feb 25, 2008
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