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What Does This Customer Really Want?

A golf friend of mine has a business selling insurance and financial products. Let’s call him John. John is an independent contractor representing Wilson Financial. My friend told the story of a customer who came to him about 6 months ago requesting good customer service. This customer had originally worked with another advisor at Wilson who did not take customer service very seriously. His original agent would never return calls, rarely wanted to review his portfolio, and didn’t appear to care. This client wanted to stay with Wilson Financial but sought a professional who cared.

Interestingly, this customer was in luck and came to the right person—John is customer-centric, helps where he can, and loves to go above and beyond for his customers. Therefore, it appears to be a good match—a client who wanted his insurance agent to focus on service, and John was ready to oblige.

So far, things have gotten off to a rough start. John had to call his new client 4 times before he could schedule an appointment. Once the appointment was scheduled, the new client didn’t show. Initially, my friend was befuddled. He didn’t know what to think. The new client’s wife didn’t tell him about the appointment. The new client had to reschedule one more time before they met. So far, the client has not been completely cooperative during the initial stages, but John is aware and doing what he can to improve the relationship.

He wants to show his new client that his service model focuses on all his customers. John’s mantra is to practice what he preaches, but it’s been quite challenging so far. That doesn’t mean he’ll give up; it just means he may have to be a little more focused to assure this new client that he’s there for him.

Do customers have responsibilities, too? At some point, do they have to return phone calls? Is the onus always on the agent or provider to reach them, or eventually, do clients need to work and cooperate with their professionals? At some point, would not both the professional and their client have to agree and establish certain guidelines in their professional relationship to help ensure success? Because of my friend’s tenacious nature, he will not give up on and off the golf course even though he’s unexpectedly experienced some challenges with this client.

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