I do tend to lean towards eateries when discussing customer service but let’s be clear, great service is essential in every industry, whether for our customers, clients or employees. Sean Dhillon is a Mortgage Advisor with CIBC and the target of the latest edition of the Quality Check.
1) In one or two sentences, define good customer service.
Good customer service is looking after a client’s needs; the ones they are aware of and the ones they are not aware of. Purchasing or building a home can be a daunting process and critical information can be overlooked, so my role is to walk my clients through each step of the process and pointing out which parts need the most attention. I make sure my clients are well informed and confident about their financial decisions. (booo Sean, you went over 1-2 sentences. I’ll let it slide this once. Once.)
2) From a retail perspective, what’s one of your customer service pet peeves?
A pet peeve of mine is a competitor wasting a clients time trying to make a financing transaction work when that transaction is clearly above their experience level and/or they have no direct solution for the client’s needs. Often times the best customer service is referring the client to an expert who will take care of their clients’ needs promptly and efficiently.
3) Can you provide an example of how you turned a bad experience into a good one through customer service?
A customer was referred to me by their sister for construction financing towards the house they were building. The clients were frustrated with a competitor who did not understand the client’s needs and the construction lending process. The clients were called in by the competitor during the customer’s work hours and were made to sit in his office for 45min without giving them a clear indication if they were going to be approved or not. The competitor had been talking to the client for two weeks prior to that. Building a home is time sensitive and the longer a project stalls the costlier the project.
Within 48 hours of meeting the client (during evening and weekend hours), gathering information, and discussing the project in detail along with their needs I had them approved. Moreover, I obtained for them $50,000 more than the project required because cost overruns are common and I make sure I look after a customer’s unexpected needs. In addition I paid for the client’s appraisal bill the competitor wanted the client to pay, even though I didn’t’ have to. And I setup the client with both life and disability insurance because they didn’t have either and it’s easy to fall off a ladder or step on a nail when you’re building a home.
Thanks Sean. Are you stepping out from the crowd? Sadly, one of the best ways to do that as a business is through great customer service. I say sadly because it’s not common. So be uncommon, give great service.