As deVere Group’s Head of Western Europe, I have always maintained a strong commitment to impeccable culture of service.  Looking after your clients, being 100 per cent committed to them and showing them respect, I believe is fundamental in today’s highly-competitive business environment.  Relationships with clients don’t just end when they’ve signed on the dotted line.  In fact, that is just the beginning.

In this industry, both in the UK and internationally and in both larger and smaller firms, one of the main flaws has historically been a lack of long-term care and support.  A service culture is an integral part of the job, and must never be just an after-thought.   If your clients are satisfied then they will continue to work with you.

The importance of exceptional service

So why is exceptional service so crucial?

Not only does it make you stand out from your competitors, give you greater job satisfaction and encourage repeat business, but going the extra mile for clients really is the best advertising there is.

Some of the service ‘essentials’ to focus on to keep clients coming back include maintaining a good degree of professionalism at all times.  Particularly in the financial services sector, people want assurance that their money is in good hands, and any sign of incompetence or a slapdash attitude will see them turning away.

Being well-prepared, consistent and flexible is also crucial to maintain strong client relationships.  Making them feel special and listening to their needs will let them know how much you appreciate them.

Speed is also a key factor.  Responding to calls and emails quickly is essential.  Clients need to know you are making time for them, not putting them off until tomorrow.  If you do more than you promise every time, then every time the client will be impressed.

What about when things go wrong?

There are occasions when mistakes are made and things go wrong.  If you’ve made a slip-up, always take personal responsibility and never blame anyone else.  Always acknowledge your mistakes and use best endeavours to rectify the situation as swiftly and professionally as possible.

Furthermore, never say negative things about competitors to clients.  Not only does it make you look unprofessional, it also makes you feel ‘threatened’ by your rivals.  Focus on your strengths, high performance levels and emphasise what you have to offer the client.

One of the cornerstones of deVere’s ongoing success is our world-class culture of service – it is something that sets us apart and it is, I’m very proud to say, something we all have as our primary over-arching focus each and every day.

As Leon Gorman, the influential U.S. businessman, who has amassed a personal fortune of $860m, once famously said: “Customer service is just a day in, day out ongoing, never ending, unremitting, persevering, compassionate, type of activity.”

Now that’s a sentiment I share. And those are absolutely the standards I will uphold on behalf of our business and our clients.