The 7 Cs of Customer Service

Tom Hopkins

By Tom Hopkins

Our research has shown that the people who will stay in business and prosper through the next decade are people who live the seven words below. If you take these seven words and make each one a part of your make-up and a part of your daily business, you’ll not only prosper, but you will build that wonderful referral base we are all after.

The first C stands for Concern. People want to know that you are more concerned with serving them, more concerned with helping them, more concerned that they are happy, more concerned about building a long-term relationship with you than making the sale and getting the check. So, get the dollar signs out of your eyes. When buyers feel you need the sale, they’ll feel pressured to make a decision. That will cause them to stall or even fight you. They don’t care if you need the sale. They care that you’re concerned about their needs.

The second C is Competence. Buyers and sellers demand competence. They expect you to be an expert. They want you to know your trade and your profession. They want to be able to rely on your professionalism.

The third C is Courtesy. Great people in sales are very polite. They are concerned about their manners, and they are very concerned about their vocabularies. They don’t risk insulting a person’s values by saying anything that might offend them. Our society is constantly changing its expectations for business behavior. Sadly, those expectations are often lowered, but I believe the highest paid people in the real estate business are very polite, very courteous and watch their vocabularies so they don’t insult the values of the people they work with.

The fourth C is Commitment. This is one I find lacking in the real estate industry. People are not willing to really commit and dedicate themselves to become the very best. They aren’t willing to commit the time and effort to achieve their goals. As you read this, I hope you realize that the top professional makes a commitment – it’s called being willing to get out of balance for a period of time so that someday they can have complete balance. I believe in having balance in life, but I also believe that in building a real estate business you have to be willing to spend some time out of balance.

That means if you have a family, you need to sit down with the family and say, “We are going to commit 24 months of putting in more time and effort. And, if I do everything that I have to do as a professional, I can work less time with much more income for the family. This will come about only because we are willing to make this commitment now.”

The fifth C is Composure. It’s important that we don’t allow ourselves to get upset and frustrated with this business. Realize that you are not really in the real estate business – you are in the people business and have chosen a vehicle called real estate. But in the people business you can get messed up if you don’t keep your composure.

The next C is Consistency. Every professional I have ever trained that has gone on to be one of the best is consistent. They know exactly how many contacts they need to make each day. They know exactly the number of calls, exactly the number of people they are going to visit, which will result in so many homes sold and they make that commitment to consistency.

And the seventh C is Creativity. The people I meet that do the best are very creative people. In other words, if they have a challenge, they overcome it by being creative. If something is wrong in their lives, they handle it by being creative. If you have a sale that is about to fall out or cancel, get creative. If it doesn’t go through, don’t get depressed – become more creative. Approach it with the attitude that you will take what you learn from this opportunity and develop your creativity.

I’ll end this lesson with a quote from a book titled, “Quiet Power” by Susan Cain. “People don’t buy because they understand. They buy because they feel understood.” When you develop the seven Cs of customer service, you will be helping your buyers feel understood.

Tom Hopkins is world-renowned as a real estate listing and selling expert. Learn more at