4 Tips

Beyond customer service, which all successful business leaders measure, this top producer measures customer delight. You can too, with these 4 tips.

Many successful financial advisors measure customer service, with traditional measures such as process time, customer satisfaction, or portfolio increases.

If that’s all you are doing, then your practice is falling short.

One of the metrics at Bank of America is customer delight, yet Wachovia currently scores higher. Customer delight is measured throughout service industries, from hospital care to fine restaurants to sales experiences. So, how do you create customer delight for your clients?

Meet William. William has been a financial advisor for 4 years, in a fee-based business with $30 million in assets under management and an average monthly gross of $10,000. His business is representative of thousands of advisors. However, his customer delight practices make him unique. Virtually all of his clients are attorneys at big law firms in Charlotte. He describes them as “highly educated people. Most were at the top of their class, all of them are very busy, and all are charging at least $300/hour rates.”

Here are 4 of his tips:

1. Take All the Time in the World. Once he has the client’s balance sheet, William prepares no more than 2 or 3 investment choices. During the client review meeting, his goal is to give the impression that he always has ALL THE TIME IN THE WORLD for that client. He repeats that phrase. Then he makes his one recommendation based on their long term needs. He never talks about other time constraints or other clients. He says, “My closing ratio is about 99%”

2. Reward the Best. After the review meetings William rewards his best customers. He hand delivers Teddy Bears on Valentines Day. Can you imagine anyone bustling through elevators and receptionists in a blustery February in Charlotte, burdened with dozens of teddy bears? He sends Amazon gift certificates on birthdays. He rewards colleagues and clients who send him referrals.

3. Mean it when you say, “No Problem.” When William hears, “You want to meet at 7:30 a.m. in your office uptown?” His reply must be, “No problem!” When he hears, “You need to re-schedule again?” His reply must be, “No problem!” We will all face rejection and disappointments. Those with a Silver Platter Service vision like William respond differently. They respond like winners.

4. Focus on the Numbers. William loves to read trade journals like Financial Analyst, because they are academically focused, and less biased than “other marketing information disseminated by our industry.” His focus is on the returns described by CFAs who run mutual funds. He loves to analyze possible returns for his clients. Then, he loves to distill that knowledge, the actual numbers, into simple advice to his clients.

One final story summarizes William’s ability to provide customer delight. One of his clients, Paul, has used William for several investments, including life and disability insurance, college funding, mortgage financing, and long term investments. Paul said, “William, over the past 3 years you have helped me with all of my investment needs. You’re my guy!”

Then Paul emailed a hot stock pick that he thought William would be interested in. The bottom line: Paul doesn’t know William’s interests at all!

William dismissed the stock pick with a smile. He said, “He doesn’t need to know that my interests are long term yields. He just needs to know that I’m his financial guy!”

My coaching question for you in your business is: What are you doing to create customer delight?

Author's Bio: 

Doug Gray, PCC, is an ICF certified coach, author, and speaker who helps business leaders get results. For free articles and details, visit www.action-learning.com or call 704-895-6479.