A few months ago I was leading a property management team through a training session entitled Providing Outstanding Customer Service. I asked participants to share a story explaining how they successfully dealt with a difficult resident or client.
“Mary” had not only an interesting story, she had an equally interesting solution to the problem. Here is her story:
Mary works in resident relations at a Class A Planned Community. One afternoon she received a call from an irate resident. He explained that someone had planted a tree on his property without his authorization. In his opinion, it was planted in the wrong location and he wanted it moved to another part of his lawn! The tree was approximately two years old and approximately 25 feet in height.
To further complicate the matter, the builder, who had planted the tree was the real source of the problem. He had done so after the owner had moved in and had not discussed the location before he planted the tree. This was not unusual as discussing the location of trees with residents was not something that builders customarily do. From a practical standpoint, the tree could not be removed and simply transplanted in the location demanded by the resident.
Nevertheless, the owner was unhappy and it was Mary’s responsibility as the Director of Resident Relations to solve the problem.
Mary had a dilemma. Pulling up trees could create a precedent. This was not like transplanting a tulip.
IF YOU WERE MARY WHAT WOULD YOU HAVE DONE?
Email your answers to me.
Next month I’ll publish the responses and tell you what Mary actually did and the lessons that can be learned.