News: Section Councils

CMLS Customer Service Section Council Highlights MLS PIN Success Story

Friday, July 21, 2017   (0 Comments)
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Article by Victor Lund, CMLS Business Partner


There are many MLSs leveraging the CMLS Customer Service Best Practice Guidelines for improving MLS effectiveness, including MLS PIN. So to better understand how they do it, I chatted with John Breault, director of Customer Support & Quality Assurance for MLS PIN. He is also a CMLX graduate and instructor.




MLS PIN is a Massachusetts-based MLS serving firms across the state. It is a private, broker-owned MLS with approximately 37,000 subscribers. Acting as its own vendor, it created and supports an in-house system called Pinergy.


Customer Service Team and System Overview


The MLS PIN support team is comprised of eight representatives. They are divided into two teams. One is Customer Support and the other is Technical Support. While the two teams initially served separate needs, they have cross-trained to share some responsibilities.


They deploy a ShoreTel phone system for managing their customer call queue. The system includes desktop applications and supports remote soft phones. So when the roads are covered with snow because of those Nor’easters (storms), support representatives can seamlessly support their customers from home.


Every call is logged in the ShoreTel system and keyed into a Microsoft CRM by each representative. Every fifth closed case generates a customer satisfaction survey.


Call volume runs around 80,000 calls a year or roughly, 250 calls per day. They are open from 8 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday, and from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Sunday. 


Satisfaction Management


Following a customer satisfaction survey in 2009, MLS PIN established a baseline customer satisfaction score surrounding three basic questions. MLS PIN shared responses from its benchmark year and last year to illustrate how it has improved.



Rate MLS PIN as being responsive to your challenges and needs – 7.87 out of 10

Was the representative courteous and respectful – 8.18 out of 10

Did they quickly and effectively solve your problem – 7.91 out of 10.



Rate MLS PIN as being responsive to your challenges and needs – 9.47 out of 10

Was the representative courteous and respectful – 9.58 out of 10

Did they quickly and effectively solve your problem – 9.33 out of 10.


Some of the differences can be attributed to the implemention of incentives for improving customer service. These incentives create added accountability for each representative in their individual performance as well as a stake in the success of the whole team. The result has been about a 20 percent increase in overall satisfaction.


Future Plans


For MLS PIN, CMLS Best Practices have been highly informative. The guidelines provide an excellent resource for MLSs and an opportunity to learn from other MLSs.


For example, based on a Hilton Head best practice, MLS PIN decided to share its performance ratings with brokers. So when the organization moved from the high 7s to the mid 9s, brokers could appreciate it as a success too. (If you don’t let the brokers know, did it really happen?)


This isn’t the only idea implemented by MLS PIN. Currently, they are discussing the effectiveness of developing a support Wiki for frequently asked questions and answers. They are also considering additional services such as formal training solutions for support representatives.


Right now, MLS PIN uses a shadow process whereby new reps sit with a manager and other team members until they are up to speed. Breault hopes to implement a more structured onboarding process that is similiar to the ones described in the CMLS Customer Service Best Practices. 


He also believes it would be a great idea for CMLX to create some detailed course work around the CMLS Customer Service Best Practices to help support local MLSs looking to improve their support processes.


Level of Effort


Breault says that the process of reviewing the CMLS Best Practices and comparing it to their systems is highly valuable — one of the most valuable benefits of being a CMLS member. 


His advice? Every MLS should review the material as it is full of valuable information. Even if an organization does not adopt everything in the document, it will provide the MLS with an industry benchmark, the ability to isolate opportunities appropiate for the organization, and many ideas that have already proven successful for other MLSs.


Quote of the Day


John Breault says: “The one way to assure failure is to do nothing.”


The CMLS Section Council is interested in hearing more stories about the successful implementation of CMLS Customer Service Best Practices or pioneering ideas that are starting to prove successful for MLSs. Together, we can build a better marketplace. You can download the CMLS Customer Service And Support Best Practices Document other Best Practices Documents here.