People often ask, what makes great firms stand out from the crowd; what differentiates them from the competition?
The answer is as simple as it is complex – great customer service.
To encapsulate how we should and do interact with our customers I have launched a special charter. It’s the 18 point “Golden Rules of Great Customer”.
The 18 Golden Rules are:
1 – Listen to our customers
It’s our duty to understand what customers need and there’s only one way to achieve that: by listening and understanding.
2 – Build a service-minded culture
The customer is King and always comes first.
3 – Be helpful, even if there’s no immediate profit
Remember, we exist on long-term client relations.
4 – Know how to apologise
We’re all human. If you make a mistake be the first to apologise
5 – Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Broken promises break relations.
6 – Take that extra step
Also known as the ‘extra mile’. Clients appreciate it when you do.
It doesn’t go unnoticed.
7 – Identify and anticipate needs
Have you really thought of everything? Use your knowledge of financial markets and products to meet all future needs.
8 – Answer your phone
The rule of thumb is three rings. Nobody likes being left waiting.
Similarly, always return a missed call at the very earliest opportunity.
9 – Remember, speed stuns
The quicker you work for a customer the more they’ll appreciate your service.
10 – Show your appreciation
Our clients are our life-blood. It never hurts to let them know they are.
11 – Deal with complaints
Immediately, openly and with good grace.
12 – Fix your mistakes
The quicker you rectify a mistake the less impact it has.
13 – Put yourself in your clients’ shoes
If I was sat opposite me, what would I want? How would I be thinking?
14 – Never argue with a customer
Confrontation kills custom. If you don’t agree with them, think around what they’re saying – find a new angle.
15 – Be flexible
In a customer service environment nothing is too much effort.
16 – Throw in something extra
Clients appreciate advisors who go above and beyond the call of duty.
17 – Be patient
After all, it is a virtue.
18 – Build a relationship
It’s the only way to ensure you’ve got your clients’ mid to long term investment interests fully and properly covered.
Some may be obvious, some not so but in the cut and thrust of our daily business life it can be all too easy to let pressure and work load overtake the responsibilities we have to our clients.
The 18 point Golden Rules of Great Customer Service Charter is here to remind us that our clients are our business. They’re based on building excellent relationships with clients through effective communication.
After all, like any large corporation we are judged on how we act and what we do.e.
Blog published by Mike Coady.