It’s easy to rely on computer-generated analytics when getting to know your customers, but other elements such as learning more about your clients likes and dislikes also contribute to successful customer service.

Knowing and understanding customers can lead to quality and long-term relationships, according to Lorcan Malone, who wrote about blending old and new approaches to creating and managing customer service relationships. Malone’s article was published Dec. 6 on While real estate agents and others in the industry aren’t in a traditional retail business, the three tips posted apply to all types of customer relationships, he wrote.

Tip #1: You don’t have much time before the customer or client moves on, so start right away with creating a strong bond. According to Joey Coleman, a respected customer experience expert, 20% to 60% of all customers leave within the initial 100 days, Malone wrote in the article. Real estate agents can connect with their clients in a meaningful way from the start. Some ways to accomplish that stronger connection include asking questions and taking notes. Share the knowledge and notes with other team members who will be working with the client. The team can then better understand how to meet and exceed clients’ expectations. The high-tech data can help accomplish deeper relationships, as they often track and measure emailed and other correspondences.

Tip #2: Build relationships that last beyond the transaction. The initial months of relationship-building provide agents with what they need to engage with customers for not only the purchases of their first homes but also subsequent properties throughout their lives. Tips for maintaining long-term relationships include keeping in touch, and remembering the details about your clients, maintaining that information in a database, and then using it to establish long-term trust, loyalty, and a solid connection, Malone said. Not only will you have built a lasting relationship, but you will have increased the possibility of referrals.

Tip #3: Take note of trends and patterns. Test approaches. Knowing clients’ behavior patterns can help secure real estate transactions. Some people, for example, are more likely to want to address big decisions in the morning or after work—maybe on the weekends. Perhaps talking to a specific person in the household is more or less conducive to getting things done. Document clients’ behavior patterns and anecdotes on your database, then test the theories and record which ones worked.

In essence, data generated by today’s technologies can reveal customers’ spending habits and other information. Still, they don’t always offer the more detailed, personal information necessary to maintain a long-lasting client relationship.

Source: “How to Blend Old and New School Approaches to Building Customer Relationships,” (Dec. 6, 2016)