Are You Being Served?

Bad service: it leaves a lasting legacy

 "  HatTip  " is written by Nick Lincoln, IFA

"HatTip" is written by Nick Lincoln, IFA

Among the pizza delivery menus, double-glazing offers, and estate agent toutings,  a flyer dropped on my doorstep recently offering a different service.

It was for "garden surgery". You pay people to come into your garden and tidy it up: prune the bushes back; get rid of ivy; chop overhanging tree branches, that kind of thing.

Given that, last year, I managed to slice through the power-cord of the bush-trimming device I attempt to wield every half-decade or so, this was a service I wanted - needed - to use.

So I looked up the website (details contained on the flyer) and filled out the "Get A Quote" form. I submitted a rough outline of what I wanted done in my garden, clicked "Submit", and waited.

And waited.

And am still waiting.

 Cataclysmic fence devastation, as wrought by neighbour's tree.

Cataclysmic fence devastation, as wrought by neighbour's tree.

I made contact with this company via their website in early January 2017.

Since then, I've engaged a different company, who have done what they said they were going to do; when they said they were going to do it; for the price they quoted me.

In the process of cutting back my neighbour's tree, they also revealed damage caused to my fence by said tree. Which means I need to have a conversation with my neighbours. That might be a blog for another day....

Anyway, in terms of my garden, at the end of the day, all's well and good.

Why do they bother?

But I do wonder about the first company I tried to engage.

Think about it for a moment. This company:

  • paid someone to design a flyer
  • paid someone else to then print off the flyer, probably thousands of them
  • paid someone else to deliver the flyer to thousands of households
  • paid someone else to design and host a website, which contains a "Get A Quote" form

and then did nothing when a quote enquiry came their way. As in, nothing.

This kind of thing drives me scatty. I will forever proselytise against the firm who never came back to me, while lauding the firm who did. Service is that important to me.

Why is service so important?

In financial services, there is little to initially differentiate advice firms. Most have nice, shiny websites (even if the majority contain drivel). Advisers are typically male and, er, "mature". At 48, I am younger than the average adviser, apparently, so you see what I'm getting at.

 Our "Client Care Program"

Our "Client Care Program"

Before you engage them, then, most advisers look and feel the same. What will differentiate them - aside from the quality of their advice - is the quality of their service.

If you provide a superb level of service, you give your business a chance of standing out from the pack.

Which is why we place an emphasis on providing a really strong service standard. We even codify it, so clients know what we promise and can hold us to account if we fail to deliver.

Does your financial adviser specifically say what she will do for you, year in, year out? If so, does she actually keep to that level of service, year in, year out?

Poor service is inexcusable. It will taint your perception of a brand forever. And when it comes to a service that purports to help you with your money, poor service could well cost you a lot of it, for nothing much in return.

 

excellent service should be a given, not the exception. are you being served by your financial adviser?

{The above is not specific financial advice aligned to your unique circumstances and requirements. If you act on this article without first reading your own body weight in Key Features Documents, personal illustrations and fund fact-sheets then you may well be struck down by lightning.}
© 2017 Nick Lincoln