We think a lot about processes and systems at Jambalaya Group, but even the best of systems alone will not create the ultimate client experience. The manner in which processes are executed is even more critical to the experience.
We believe manners still matter. We want to make a case for how people respond to a refined approach, professional demeanor and sincere desire to serve.
Many of our advisors attended a training session from The Ritz Carlton recently. The feedback has been phenomenal. As a top authority on client service, they set a standard we can aspire to in the financial planning industry. Identifying how this might look in our environments or what it would take for those who really want to be and to attract the best of the best, has been top of mind for us these past few months.
Even in today’s modern world, the Ritz Carlton shares their rationale about how traditional manners play a huge role as a business strategy. As a follow up to those who’ve already had an introduction to the Ritz Carlton Way or a first taste of the concept, here is a link to their leadership blog which begs the question, “Is looking professional old fashioned?”
Many of you may already cover some of the steps we will outline in your Employee Handbook. Certainly, we agree that should be the guiding document for your practices. You might also consider social norms for your community and target market. As you read, feel free to nuance these thoughts to fit your unique brand and corporate culture.
Consider these 7 simple steps to deliver an exceptional client service experience and see how you match up:
Clean, freshly pressed and well-manicured are still in style. The look speaks to the prospect and client in a way that makes them feel respect. In turn, it allows you to feel more confident and prepared to deliver on the ultimate client experience. Avoid overdoing makeup or using perfume. Don’t display excessive piercings or tattoos. Check your breath. Most employee handbooks address this issue, but maybe you can refresh and step it up.
Focus on the prospect or client. Look at them. Please don’t talk about other matters in their presence. Be sure they come first. Smile, offer to serve them, listen intently and watch for opportunities to pick up on what they want. Be sure you are not distracted by a text or call when you are in the presence of your valued prospect or client.
Smile, offer to serve them, listen and watch for opportunities to pick up on what they want. Display a positive, calm and professional demeanor.
4. LANGUAGE SKILLS
Use proper English and complete sentences. Address people by name. Speak slowly and clearly. Be sure they are following what you are saying. Never use inappropriate language or make disparaging comments.
5. GOOD POSTURE
Stand or sit tall, put your shoulders and head back. Good posture is a sign of confidence and alertness.
Be quick to address requests, solve problems or execute on promises with peaceful haste. Return phone calls and emails on the same day. Deliver as promised.
Let people know that they are important to you. Thank them; appreciate them. Let them know you look forward to following up with them and seeing them again. We’ve addressed this area with some detail, but it is worth repeating.
|Now rate yourself 1-5 on each of the above:||Have a trusted colleague rate you 1-5 of each:|
|Grooming ____ ||Grooming ____ |
|Attention ____||Attention ____|
|Attitude ____||Attitude ____|
|Language Skills ____||Language Skills ____|
|Good Posture ____||Good Posture ____|
|Responsiveness ____||Responsiveness ____|
|Gratitude ____||Gratitude ____|
|Total ____ of 35||Total ____ of 35|
Consider simple ways to improve your numbers and prepare yourself to deliver the ultimate service experience to your clients. Remember – it begins with you.
While we highly recommend The Ritz Carlton Enrichment Courses and Advisory Services, we recognize that many will want to think through how this can be reflected in our industry and your particular practice. Therefore, Jambalaya Group has developed the Ritz Carlton Experience Translated. It contains specific ways you can take concepts from The Ritz and implement them with a practical and profitable redesign of your client service model. For more information, contact Kris Hartland at KHartland@jambalayagroup.com.
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Bernie DeLaRosa, CFP®, ChFC® CRPC®, CLU®, APMA®, CASL®, BFA™
Managing Business Consultant
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