Posts Tagged 'Client Care'

Rapid Response! Phone calls or email?

Both actually.

Email to all involved.

Phone calls to top 10 today, next 10 tommorrow or have staff call them today.

Just check in!

Who or What Answers Your Phone?

Does a person or a machine answer your phone during business hours?

Do you think your clients care?

I put our best phone person on to the task of answering the phone and the results have really paid off.

This staff member loves to talk on the phone. Sometimes I think she thrives on it! This genuine behavior comes through over and over again as people comment about how nice it is to call our office.

Since she was originally hired as an operations person, she is able to handle most customer inquiries right on the spot without transferring the call. The experience of the caller is dramatically improved. They feel cared for instead of feeling like they are imposing.

Guide: A person connects with a person, not a machine.

Action Item: Put an enthusiastic voice who is empowered as your client’s first point of contact.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Please leave comments to share with others by clicking the comment link below the title of this article.

Travel Books – A Thoughtful Treat

 

You have just received a call from a client.  They are going on a trip!

Likely they have contacted you regarding a financial, legal or insurance matter for this trip.

Usually the conversation starts with, “Hi, I am going on a trip and I need…”

My first response is always – “Great!  Where are you going?”

After what is usually a pleasant conversation about the destination and addressing the reason for the call, I head right over to http://www.amazon.com and quickly search for “travel books (insert destination)”.

Once an appropriate choice is selected, I send it directly to the client with a cover note wishing them best and that we thought they might enjoy reading up on the destination.

The book arrives a few days later which has generally been followed by a big smile from the client and a very genuine thank you.

Guide: Clients work very hard and get very excited about a big trip to a special destination.

Action Item: Send them a travel book and let them know you share their excitement.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Please leave comments to share with others by clicking the comment link below the title of this article.

Clients Want The Bad News Too…

 

As trusted advisors, we work very hard at doing the best work we can possibly do for our client. 

As the relationship progresses, we learn about our client’s needs, wants, desires, habits, beliefs and behaviors.

Eventually we know whether the client will be successful in their endeavors or if they will fail no matter what we do.

Imagine being a doctor and not delivering the bad news to your patient!  Do you think the relationship will be better if you spare the prognosis?

Is this fair to our clients?

I like to tell the following story –  “Thank goodness I am like the cardiologist and not the oncologist.  Most or many of the oncologist’s patients don’t make it long-term. For the cardiologist, most patients do make it.  The oncologist says that you have X time left.  It is very sad.  The cardiologist says, I am not worried about you right now, but, if the current behavior continues, I am very worried about you in 15-20 years.  You need to exercise, eat right, drink less, lose some weight and drop some of these dangerous behaviors.  If you do, you should be fine.”

Clients need to hear the bad news.  They get it and more often than not, if you are the trusted advisor, they will alter their behavior.  Why?

Because they want to succeed!  That is why they hired you in the first place.

Guide – Clients want to hear the bad news along with the good.  This allows them the opportunity to take corrective action.

Action Item – Tell them the story of the cardiologist and the oncologist.  Share the potentially bad news.  Be the trusted advisor.

Please leave comments to share with others by clicking the comment link below the title of this article.

Show Your Colors – Give a Flag

We will soon enter a new Holiday season.  No, not the winter holiday season, but it is the superfecta of  patriotic holidays –

  • May 15th – Armed Services Day
  • May 31st – Memorial Day
  • June 14th – Flag Day
  • July 4th – Independence Day

So what can you do to honor these holidays and help your clients celebrate?

Well perhaps you could fly the flag? or….

Give a flag!

A United States flag represents the spirit of this season.  Most clients want to fly a flag if  they own one (and if they remember to do it!). Some own a flag but it’s old, some have lost the one they had, some have been meaning to buy a new one, and some just appreciate the reminder.

I recommend the United States Flag Store at http://www.united-states-flag.com/nylprinflag.html

Look around the site and spend whatever is comfortable.  Nice printed flags start from $3.00,  hand sewn flags can cost up to several hundred dollars.  The flags come wrapped and ready to mail.  Just put them in an envelope, add a hand written note, and mail them off.

Here is one sample note –

Dear xxxxx,

In celebration of the upcoming patriotic season of

  • May 15th – Armed Services Day
  • May 31st – Memorial Day
  • June 14th – Flag Day
  • July 4th – Independence Day

Please enjoy this flag and flying it during these special American holidays.

Best wishes from Eliot, Kathy and staff.

Make sure you buy one for your office and fly it proudly on these days.

Guide – Gifting an American Flag instills a special feeling in your recipients.

Action Item – Order and give your best clients a new flag for the upcoming patriotic season.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Please leave comments to share with others by clicking the comment link below the title of this article.

Stop the Madness – Fire a Client

 

The two biggest stumbling blocks to high productivity (being in the zone) are stress and lack of confidence.

So I will ask, Do you have a client that calls and when you hear their name or see it on the caller ID, you immediately feel nausea or a pit in your gut?  If you are like most advisors, the answer is YES!

This client is likely a good source of revenue, but a high source of anxiety and energy drain.  You want to like him or her and try to please them, but each time that darn phone rings or that email comes in, you feel sick.

Consider this.  The amount of life force this relationship takes from you and your staff is equal to 7-10 great clients you enjoy.  These wonderful relationships, not to mention family and staff, are suffering as a result.

There IS a solution.  Fire them.  Let them go.  Say goodbye.

Yes, you hate to let the revenue go or admit failure, but fear not, it is for the best.

So how do you do it?  You don’t want to hurt anyone’s feeling or ruin the relationship with a referral source.  But be assured,  the client knows it too.  So here goes…

Depending on how you feel (yes, feel), this can be done by letter or over the phone. 

Here is a sample conversation:

“Joe, I realize that you have found our relationship to be less than satisfactory, which both I and my staff have sensed from your comments and behavior.  I believe that you would be better served by another advisor.  We will cooperate and aid in any manner we can in the transferring of your relationship.  I have appreciated our work together and this decision was not reached without careful consideration.  This is not something I wish to discuss further.  You will need to speak to (insert staff person’s name) to give your instructions where you would like your accounts and/or file sent.  Please hold on and I will turn you over to them now”

Push the hold button and BREATH.  You did it.  Cherish the moment and remember the feeling of stopping the madness.

Guide – The stress of one bad client is equal to the energy it takes to support 10 normal relationships.

Action item – You are a good person.  Free yourself from the oppression and fire this client.  You know who they are.  You will be better off.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved

Top Ten Things to Do in 2010

 

1.  Delegate 10 things that you know you should not be doing.

Nothing will free you up mentally like not doing the “junk” you know you should not be doing.  Just stop!

2.  Fire your nightmare client.

The stress of this account is killing you (perhaps literally).  The energy used to maintain this client is equal to 10 great clients.  Stop hurting yourself and your staff.  If you are not sure which one this is, just ask your staff or spouse.  They will tell you and support the decision.

3.  Treat your staff to a treat.

Practice random acts of kindness.  It feels great and will help everyone be more productive.

4.  Call your top 20 clients and make a non-business only date.

They want to know you.  Visit them at their home, take them out for a meal, invite them to a show, etc. – They really like you.  I call it “go deeper, not wider.”

5.  Spend 3 hours with your best center of influence.

A quick lunch is not enough.  Following the theme of #4 above, really getting to know these people is key to any lasting relationship.

6.  Improve a technology system to make it do what you really need.

Does your CRM system really crank?  Why not!  Spend a few bucks and make it sing.  Find a consultant or some add-ins to help it along.  A great productivity enhancer.

7.  Rework your website and brochure.

Gosh, they get old fast.  Do a short run digital version of the brochure from now on and run fresh ones every 6 months.  Consider purchasing a wide-format color printer and do them in-house.

8.  Redecorate your office.

Yup!  Spruce it up and feel better.  New throw rugs, a fresh coat of paint, and some new wall hangings all help to create a more professional enviroment.

9.  Volunteer.

Giving back somehow, someway gives you a chance to recharge and feel good.  You know you should!

10.  Take time away with your spouse or partner to discuss the direction of your business.

Your loved one is a great sounding board.  They put up with you and listen to you moan all year long.  Sit down, tell them your goals and plans and then shut up and listen.

Guide – Each of these is designed to reduce your stress and enhance productivity.  All proven winners.  Good luck!

Action item – Write these down or print them out.  Post them and knock them off.  Each one stands on its own, so the order does not matter.

© 2010 The Advisors Center, LLC – All Rights Reserved


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