Due to my nomadism (moving around a lot), I have to deal with real estate agents a lot. In this post, I am going to use my experience with them as an analogy which I hope will help you look at your customers differently.
Let’s say there is an agent A and an agent B. Agent A is only concerned with their customer, who is a landlord (I am the tenant), and all of their actions are aimed at pleasing the customer – their communications with potential tenants are not clear enough, because they just don’t spend enough time with them, they are very abrupt, one way, as in ‘you have to go and do this’, ‘you have to bring this to show us that’, you get the gist. Tenants have to follow up (not the other way around), tenants have to prepare lots of papers and it’s ‘their problem how they do it’, tenants have to pay exuberant fees for the admin work that agent has done to service the landlord’s interests and for agent’s profit, there is no flexibility whatsoever and then there is still probability that you won’t get the place.
Now let’s look at agent B.
They assign one guy to me, who is proactively sending me info on the flats he thinks I might be interested in. His main customer is also a landlord, but he also treats me as a customer. He explains the process clearly, suggests alternatives to accommodate my time, is flexible in approach and how he does things, tries to find a solution that works both for me and the landlord, follows up a lot, keeps communication going to make sure we are on the same page, and generally makes sure that I am happy. The fees are minimal and are clearly explained. He does keep me posted on how many prospects there are and what the chances of me getting the property are.
Now imagine tomorrow I decide to a) buy a house, b) become a landlord, c) sell a house, etc. Who will I contact, agent A or agent B?
Your customers are your priority, this is true. But have you made sure that you also understand who may become your customer tomorrow? And in general, are you treating all parties who do business with you equally courteously and professionally, do you try to genuinely help? Because you never know, tables may turn, and suddenly those who you ignored may hold the cards, but there is just no way you will convince them to bet on you.