The Truth About Customer Service

Customer service ain’t what it used to be!

Yes, it involves making sure questions are answered, complaints are resolved, and standing behind the product. But, the most crucial part of customer service is making your customer feel appreciated. Here’s where ‘Relationship Marketing’ comes in.

A lot goes into making sure your customer feels appreciated and needs to be handled one on one either;

  1. over the phone or;
  2. face to face

Both of these are highly necessary in most cases, and very time consuming.

This blog post is about the most crucial part of customer service 

Appreciation is quite possibly the one piece of customer service that most people in sales either forget about or think it’s not important. Even worst-case scenario, some salespeople don’t think about it at all.

So let’s examine”Appreciation” inside of customer service and at the same time, also examine systems that can be implemented into your marketing plan saving time & money!

Look, anyone successful in sales and marketing live in the habit of appreciating their customers.

With that said, I love interviewing people that are actively involved in the sales process.

People in-the-trenches daily building their business by utilizing customer service techniques every single day.

I’ve learned from Jay McHugh. I really have. I’ve learned from watching him, and how he’s handled people and it’s just inspiring to me.

Based out of Massachusetts. This is no small time guy here. There have been some significant, big accomplishments in the real estate industry. Jay McHugh is the chief appreciation officer, which by the way, first of all, I love that title. So that would be CAO, (chief appreciation officer) and co-owner of LAER Realty Partners.

LAER Realty owns 28 offices with 476 agents and Jay has been using appreciation marketing, that has had a profound effect on his business since 2008.

This man, WOW,  he is one of those trainer types, but he’s in the trenches every single day. Not only is he talking about but genuinely implementing the customer service techniques he’s going to share with you today. The interview you’ll see here is not only life changing but when implemented into your customer service will improve your business as a whole…

Customer Service Systems

Jay attributes his success to utilizing “systems.” Everything – all the chaos, all the noise is removed, and when you have great systems in place, you can then work those systems any which way you need to enhance them. Think of it as a systemized playbook so to speak.

If systems aren’t in place, the chaos won’t allow the growth of your business to reach the success you desire.

It’s imperative to think outside the box by “zigging, when other’s are zagging” ~Jay McHugh~

I was an entrepreneurial-spirited kid. I started a landscaping business as a kid growing up. My dad had an old green John Deere tractor that had a tiller on the back and a front loader. I learned how to use that when I was like 13, 14 years old.

So at the age of 15, I started a landscaping business, and I took that tractor around and helped people put in their yards and stuff. But I will tell you, that’s – honestly some of the best training – when I look at my college days. Looking at all the stuff I’ve done in my career and going back to those original – when you were a kid kind of things, it really kind of instilled the entrepreneurial stuff in me.

So I totally understand why Jay calls himself the CAO “chief appreciation officer.” He calls himself that unfortunately because he sees a lot of real estate agents focusing on the money, not focusing on the best practices and therefore they wait to say thank you or “I appreciate you,” or even send a gift until the end of the transaction.

Jay trains on this massive opportunity that salespeople really miss out on. A chance before the transaction is finished to say thank you ;

  • on the first initial meeting
  • when the time of the offer is being accepted or;
  • at the home inspection
  • on the mortgage commitment
  • Congratulations… We’re almost at the finish line.

Right now you’re asking, Why would you spend money on “appreciation” if it didn’t sell or they didn’t buy, and they went with somebody else? Because that’s the power of Transactional versus Relational transactions!

Transactional versus relational says it all!

You’re more likely to get a great referral during the process if you say “thank you” rather than waiting for the sell to be over. Buyers and sellers don’t really care about the transaction once it’s done anymore, and they don’t care about referring business. But if you make your process relational you are more apt to receive ongoing referrals organically. This my folks is the beauty of relationship marketing!

People only refer to those they know, like and trust and that’s fact!

The philosophy of thanking through the process

When you tangibly send a memorable, heartfelt message to a customer, they are more than likely going to keep that card. Jay says, with this tangible, solid strategy getting a referral is like “shooting fish in a barrel.”

I teach the tangible touch. It’s a concept called the “heartfelt card send.” SendOutCards started out on the premise of helping people to act on their promptings, to reach out in kindness. So if you have a thought that somebody needs to be thanked for something, you reach out, and you say thank you or they need to – you know, job well done or whatever it is. That’s a prompting that should be acted upon, and you act upon it. We have a system called SendOutCards. It gives you a way to send a real tangible greeting card. We call that – acting on a prompting, we call that a heartfelt card send.

A lot of people today in business, marketing, in particular, get into their marketing mind, they think systems, especially for follow-up and there are a lot of great marketing systems out there.

The difference between heartfelt and a systemized appreciation

This is where a lot of people fail with their customer service and card sending. They don’t take the time to understand that if you can resonate a message that’s going to 10X the relation of the person who’s receiving it, you will 10X your business of VCP;

  • visibility,
  • credibility,
  • weekly profitability

Listen to this quote from Jay, “People count, numbers don’t.” When you focus on people, you will have an infinite amount of business. When you focus on numbers, you will, what Jay say’s “create cement shoes and fall into proverbial bankruptcy.”

80-20 Rule

You know, it’s exciting but really hard to teach the concept of the 80-20 rule. Consequently, business minds automatically go to these phrases…

  • what’s the investment?
  • What’s the ROI?

Again, one of the things that I teach is there’s a formula. The good old 80-20 rule and the 80-20 rule works in relationship marketing just like it works everywhere else. It’s the missing link to most customer service strategies.

The 80-20 rule says that 80 percent of the time, you should be creating relationships only. It could be in a phone call, or it could be in text. Whatever the system of communication is, it doesn’t matter. Eighty percent of the time, you should be building nothing but the relationship. Not asking for anything in return. It’s just building relationships.

20 percent of the time, you sprinkle in marketing. In fact, a lot of successful business people say it really should be, even more, maybe 90 percent relationship and 10 percent marketing.

Your first touch may be a marketing touch. Sometimes people get mixed up with our 80-20 rule. They’re thinking, “Well, I need to create relationships for 80 percent of the time before I reach out to market them.” No, you can reach out to market at any time you want.

Become a master at creating relationships

You’re competing against some form of competition. To stand out from your competition and make them want to select you; you need to give them something different.

Greeting cards are an impressive piece of marketing material that help you stand out from the competition.

It’s just once you get that person in your pipeline – because there will come the point where whoever you send that to, somebody is going to respond to it. Once they react to it, now you’ve got an organic connection that you can begin growing and strengthening a relationship with.

The difference between extraordinary and ordinary is the little extra things that the extraordinary will do that the ordinary will not do. As simple as that.

Doing the extraordinary increases the chances of what? A great testimonial on one or more of the major social media platforms, right?

They’re thanking you on Facebook, LinkedIn & Twitter just to name a few. Thereby increasing the chances that they will refer you to their friends and family.

Positive, awesome stuff.

I recommend that most of the cards you send are heartfelt. Actually one at a time. So a lot of people reading this right now are saying, “My gosh, that sounds awesome. But how in the world am I ever going to have the time or the money to do that?”

Simple, when we started to ride a bike, we skinned our knees a few times. You had to fail more than you succeeded. Guys, if you’re going to run your business and you want to be a professional, not an amateur, then remember this…

“Imagination without implementation is truly hallucination.” `KodyB’

How to start implementing “Relationship Marketing”

Start by implementing and practice to create a habit. If you want to grow your business, you just get through this first card, then the second one. Once you start practicing to send out two heartfelt cards a day, it becomes easier to send out four. It becomes easier to send out five.

Believe you me, we have 86,400 freaking seconds in a day. Don’t tell me you do not have time to send a card. Besides that, if you’re not, your competition is thanking you.

So it’s a habit. It’s just a habit. It’s just something you do when you have the time and effort to do it. But accumulation, it only ends up being about 30 minutes a day, and you’re going to put your competition to shame!

Greeting card marketing works. Then again, it’s not the cost of sending the card folks. It’s the cost of not sending the card. That’s truly expensive.

Achieve 100% referral based business

Jay’s stories are very inspirational. In the video interview above Jay tells a story about how heartfelt greeting cards turned into seven other transactions worth way over $100,000 in return. Jay’s enjoying 100 percent referral business and that’s a pretty big deal.

So here’s my point. There are services out there for people in a business that are designed to help you create and curate relationships, and that’s what the SendOutCards system is all about. It’s about helping you to act on your promptings, to reach out in kindness to other human beings and you are going to reap the rewards from focusing on relationships, not the money.

But the value proposition, there are services out there that will reward you for doing the right things. SendOutCards is one of them, and I just wanted to say that, and again it’s probably one of the reasons why this is one of the most significant tools that you should have in your marketing arsenal.

I’ve had salesperson after salesperson who faithfully uses SendOutCards say, “I’m enjoying today 100 percent referral business.” So that’s the results I’m talking about. I mean it’s incredible, incredible stuff.

“Don’t ask for a referral, deserve a referral.”

Appreciate people. Because what you appreciate appreciates.

Thank you, everybody, for tuning in. Please make sure you go to or refer people to anywhere that you download a podcast and just look up the Relationship Marketing Show with Kody Bateman and make sure you get people here to listen to Jay’s special message. Thanks, everybody. We will see you in the next blog post.

Take care now.

Kody B.

p.s. Pick up a copy of Jay’s book ‘How To Sell Your Home For More Money’ by getting ahold of the person who sent you to this blog 🙂