The Church of the Customer blog points us to some new research which shows just how quickly people get the word out there when they’ve had a bad experience with a retail business:
- Almost half of shoppers say that they have avoided a particular store in the past because of someone else’s negative experience, and 31 per cent of customers tell one or more friends about a problem they experienced with a store.
- As the person with the bad experience goes around telling their friends, who in turn tell their friends, the problem is magnified each time as it passes from person to person.
- Men are less likely than women to return to a store if the product they are looking for is out of stock.
For each of these results, I’d say there’s a similar effect within the real estate industry. If potential sellers hear that an agent has treated a friend poorly, then they are unlikely to go anywhere near that particular agent. And when people do have a bad experience with a real estate agent, they’re going to tell a lot of people about it … especially since they’re often dealing with the sale of their most valuable asset – a home.
With regard to stores being out of stock, for real estate agents this would relate to the number of listings they have on their books. Get the listings, and you’ll get the people coming through the door again and again. But if you don’t have a good selection of properties available, then buyers will avoid you. And they won’t come back.