Posts Tagged 'Mature Career'

Are you clients having a great experience?

 

 
As I was searching for my topic this week, my wife, Kathy, reminded me of the awful experience we are going through with our own local community bank.

Let me share my client? (or just a customer?) experience.

We wrote a check from our home equity line of credit (HELOC) for a planned purchase.

The first letter arrived and asked us if we were having trouble paying our bills because our home equity payment was late.

We had just sent in many thousands of dollars.

Ok, fine….

The second letter arrived and said that our loan was due in full.

Ok, fine….

I called my “personal banker” who very nicely informed me that our line HELOC had expired.

She let me know that they had honored our draw-down even though “they were not supposed to” and informed me that the loan needed to be re-written.

My personal banker delivered the paperwork to be completed but it was all blank.

Ok, fine….

Two days later, my “business banker” from the same bank called to introduce himself as my new business banker.

He is called to TELL me that I needed to refile my annual paperwork for my business line of credit.

He faxed over the cover letter of requirements and a blank (fax of a fax of a fax) form for me to complete.

Ok, fine…

We submitted everything (I was just slightly peeved) and they called to schedule a closing.

I requested that we have the meeting at my office and they agreed to meet in two weeks. Two days before the appointment, there was a message on my HOME answering machine informing me that they would be late.

Ok, fine….

Both loans were underwritten and approved. We had a closing that lasted about 10 minutes and they were all smiles as they went on their way.

I requested a copy of the appraisal for review which they promptly faxed over. Turns out I live in a 2 story home with 2.5 baths. (Neither was accurate!)

Ok, fine….

The following week we made a very substantial payment towards our HELOC and back in the mail came a loan statement.

On the statement was a handwritten note: “this is the wrong acct#”

Ok, fine….

So my spouse said “If we ran our business like this we would be out of business.  I would like a new bank please.”

Here is my summary of what should have happened in my humble opinion (Of course I assumed we were a valuable client of this bank):

  • A call letting us know our HELOC was expiring and needed to be re-written.
  • A completed set of populated forms arrive for our signature.
  • A call updating us on the process as we went through it.
  • A call to our office to reschedule or at least ask if it was ok if they were going to be late.
  • A call letting us know our account number would be changing or has changed.

Don’t treat YOUR client like we were treated.

  • Communicate the process – Even it is negative (your mistake OR theirs).
  • Remember to say please and thank you.
  • Remember that they are the client and you want their business.
  • Provide an extraordinary experience and they will be loyal advocates for years to come.

 

Eliot

 

Guide – Client service is about the experience and not just the result.

Action Item – Make sure your clients are getting an experience better than they expect. This will make them advocates, not just customers.

© 2009 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.

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The Vendor Event

 

So you’re doing business with these folks all year long, right?

Which folks, you ask?  Why ,  your vendors of course!

These people provide you with ALL of the products and services you  use and may also offer to your clients.

I would suggest that these vendor relationships are extraordinary, intimate and valuable.

And yes, I did say intimate. 

How well do your vendors really know you? I bet quite well. You have leaned on them and they have leaned on you.  And after all, isn’t that what relationships are all about?

In many cases you would be lost without them. And consider this: some  may  even  be  “ideal” clients!  Many might even refer a prospect–or at least be capable of it!

This  team of professionals that service you and your business represent a wonderful opportunity.

The Vendor Dinner

Each year, my wife and I look at our list of vendors and ask a simple, yet very important question: “In the past year, who are the top 8 individuals that have ADDED THE MOST VALUE to our business?”

Usually the answer is obvious, and many individuals make the list year-after-year.

Once we have established the list, we invite each individual to a  group  dinner on us, complete with a private room, open bar, an excellent meal (appropriate to the times, this year our vendors requested a nice burger place!) and great conversation.

We let them know with a grand toast that we are successful because of their help and assistance.

They definitely feel appreciated!

This has been going on now for 12 years and has certainly been worth it.

Many have become clients, most have become friends, and several have referred prospects–and all have taken great care of us whenever we’ve needed it!

We are just beginning to think about next year’s event, which will take place as it always does in February.

So consider thanking them in a tangible and special manner. 

This has arguably been the most successful event we hold each year, and it is always a lot of fun!

Guide – Thanking people for their help and loyalty goes both ways.

Action Item – Plan a Vendor dinner for some of your most valuable relationships.

© 2009 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.

Do you have a brand?

Much has been written about brand so I will only say a little.

GET ONE! HAVE ONE! BE ONE!

You must have a branding strategy.  Seek out someone to assist you. 

Branding means a coordinated effort.  Everything must go with everything.

This means:  business cards, stationary, envelopes, memo pads, note pads, web site, signage, voice mail message, email signatures… EVERYTHING.

I am shocked at how many advisors are lazy and do not do this!!!!

Guide – Make sure ALL your stuff REALLY matches – It looks unprofessional if it doesn’t.

Action items – Find someone to help you do this.

I will discuss this more over time.


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