We all know what a difference a great customer service experience can make, but what sets the good apart from the great? Three top Squirrel advisers, who know a thing or two about looking after clients, share their top tips.
Communication is key. Get back to your clients when you say you will. It sounds so simple, but it goes a long way! Even if you don’t have the answer they were after just yet, hearing from you at the time you’d promised is important regardless. They’ll have more respect for you for being true to your word and being honest, rather than not hearing from you at all.
Know when to email and when to pick up the phone. Some things are better said over the phone than in writing. It’s never easy or pleasant delivering bad news, but this is definitely a situation where it will be much better received if you talk things through over the phone. It also means nothing will be lost in translation.
Know your clients and what they want. In my field, the big difference between a senior and junior adviser is really knowing what the client needs, but this is applicable to any industry. This comes with time, but when you’re an expert in your field, sometimes you’ll know what the client needs even better than they do. Having the knowledge to know even when they don’t will be what’s most helpful to the client and will be what sets you apart.
Be friendly and approachable. Simply doing a good job is not enough. Great customer service means doing a great job and providing a great experience. Connect with your clients on a personal level, and genuinely take an interest in what’s important to them. Of course, the product or service you provide needs to be top quality as well, but how you make them feel is what they’ll ultimately remember and could be what gets you that all-important referral.
Know how much sharing is caring. Make sure you have everything under control so your clients can have every confidence in you, but be honest about anything they need to be aware of. If things aren’t quite going to plan behind the scenes, don’t unnecessarily panic the client until you’ve researched all avenues and can confidently go back to them with helpful feedback and options. With each problem you present, you need to present a solution as well.
What these ladies all have in common is that they put people before profit. And when you genuinely care about the customer and what’s best for them, something liberating happens. They’ll trust you more and they’ll remember how you treated them with respect. And that respect is contagious. That’s what makes great customer service.
Joanne Chen is a business development manager while Emma Wallace and Monique Riley are mortgage advisers at Squirrel Mortgages. Visit squirrel.co.nz