The customer experience is extremely important in today’s competitive business landscape. Financial services organizations are looking for ways to stay competitive and better serve their customers.
“The best way to serve your customers is to understand them better, understand where their challenges are, understand where they are struggling, and understand where they have opportunities they don’t know how to take advantage of,” says CPED Instructor Ann Martel.
You need to be more than a service provider for them. You need to be a trusted business partner. A business partner relationship with your customers can build loyalty, customer retention, and become a source of future earnings for your organization.
How can you become a true, trusted business partner that helps serve them better?
Think Like a Non-Financial Organization
Step outside of your own organization for a moment and think about how your customer makes money. How are they profitable or not profitable? “This is where you see a lot of challenges with your customers’ business,” Martel says. “And understanding as a business partner from a customer service approach of ‘How can I help?’”
Ask your customers questions to get them thinking about margins, costs, and revenue. Some things you can help your customers think about include:
- How can they improve margins?
- What are their most profitable products and services?
- Where they are making the most profit?
- Where they can expand??
Understand and Question Inventory
Inventory management is a critical aspect of any business, and it directly impacts cash flow. Help your customers think strategically about their inventory. Remind your customers that inventory consumes cash, Martel adds.
Encourage customers to focus not only on the quantity but also on the speed of inventory turnover. Discuss lean inventory management practices that can reduce costs, minimize waste, and optimize cash flow. By suggesting innovative approaches to inventory management, you can help your customers free up resources for other growth opportunities.
Help Customers Envision Growth
Another way to help your customers is to work together to identify different paths to growth. Start by understanding their growth objectives and the resources they need to achieve them.
“Approach it as a well thought out decision,” Martel says. Collaborate with them to identify areas of improvement and explore new opportunities.
Ask questions like:
- What do you need to be able to grow?
- How could you grow while still maintaining profitability?
- What can you do better?
- Where can you automate?
- What do your demographics want?
- How can you best service those wants?
Understanding and serving your customers effectively is crucial for your financial service organization’s long-term success. To truly meet their needs and overcome their challenges you must dive deeper into their world. By gaining a comprehensive understanding of your customers’ struggles, opportunities, and untapped potential, you can position yourself as a valuable business partner rather than solely a service provider.
Ann Martel further explores these ideas in her webinar Cash Concepts to Help You Better Serve Your Customers.
CPED is ready to partner with your organization to help your team members improve their business and financial acumen so they can serve your customers better. Set up a Discovery Session with one of our Solutions Advisors to learn more about our custom professional development, consulting, and coaching solutions.