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.
Now more than ever before ALL businesses need to ensure they have happy, helpful and professional people working with their customers. There is so much competition out there, and people only got back or refer to when they feel they have received a premium service.
To encapsulate how we should and do interact with our customers I have launched a special charter. It’s the 18 points “Golden Rules of Great Customer”.
1. Listen to our customers & clients
It’s our duty to understand what customers need and there’s only one way to achieve that: by listening and understanding. Only then can we ensure they get what they are truly wanting.
2. Build a service-minded culture
The customer is King and always comes first. A businesses number one priority is its customers.
3. Be helpful, even if there’s no immediate profit
Remember, we exist in long-term client relations. The more helpful you are, the more you will be remembered, referred to and ultimately customers will come back to.
4. Know how to apologise
We’re all human. If you make a mistake be the first to put your hand up and apologise.
5. Don’t make promises you can’t keep
Broken promises break relations. It is way better to under-promise and over-deliver than the other way round! Remember this one!!
6. Take that extra step
Also known as the ‘extra mile’. Clients appreciate it when you do.
It doesn’t go unnoticed – I promise!
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. Solving a problem or complaint makes you trustworthy!
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. Customers will value your flexibility hugely.
16. Throw in something extra
Clients appreciate advisers 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 the pressure and workload 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 business, we are judged on how we act and what we do.
Remember to be grateful when working with your clients. They have trusted you with a hugely important area of their lives.
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