Good service brings clients and a smile

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GEOFF HALL, MANAGING DIRECTOR, BERKELEY ALEXANDER

The other night, I sat down in front of the television and found myself watching back-to-back documentaries all about service.

First, Michel Roux Jnr tried to civilize a group of errant teenagers enough to flambŽ crepes suzettes in front of a bunch of foodies. Then Mary Portas tried to make the bosses of fast-fashion retailers attune their ears to anything other than the sound of the cash till.

As a nation, it seems we are fascinated with the idea of good service. Maybe that’s because we don’t get enough of it.

It amazes me how little regard some people have for their customers. I suppose in certain sectors it’s just about a one-off transaction rather than a relationship, as it is in our industry.

It is said that it is four times harder to win a new client as retain an existing client, so it’s vital to be proactive in making sure clients have no reason to go elsewhere.

A good personal relationship is key – it can help you keep current clients and win new referrals.

I was speaking to a first-time buyer the other day who had been recommended to an adviser.

She particularly liked the fact that even though he had plenty of other clients, it was obvious from the array of thank you cards that were proudly displayed that she would be treated like an individual.

He had offered to help her do a whole market search. With the freedom to choose, she plumped for an intermediary deal because she felt reassured having him involved.

And not surprisingly, she recommended him to several of her friends.