The Financial Services Industry (The Industry) -'A customer's view'

The Industry, seem never to be able to understand why the millions of people out there, both their existing and potential customers, view them with suspicion; it is somewhat obvious, is it not?

What have they done over the years to show and prove that they are in business to offer them products and services that are fair, honest and meet their requirements?

How many companies, both large and small, genuinely really go that extra mile to meet or, in the quality terminology, exceed their customer’s expectations – not very many.

Why is it that the press, not just the tabloids, but also the broadsheets, have financial journalists who, week after week, have to act as the representative of their readers who have been poorly, sometimes shabbily treated, by ‘the Industry’?

But that kind of treatment goes right across the industry; banking, insurance, et al.

Is it really surprising that people view insurance companies with so much distrust when they seem to find every possible way not to pay the customer’s claim?

The excuses that they make, ‘It doesn’t meet the terms of your policy, the cancer you have is not one we cover, don’t claim from us, claim from another insurer’!

Look at the banks.

One can understand the need to close branches; big branch networks are not viable now but what have they put in place to support their existing customers? In particular, those who may not have access to the internet, or the ability to get to the nearest bank, some miles away!

But, once again, it’s not just the closure of banks, but the poor level of service like others in ‘The Industry’ they offer to their existing customers. How many investment products out there offer much more than one half of one percent, even the longer-term ISAs struggle to pay over one percent; very few! How many of them make their customers aware that a particular offer has stopped and their return has reduced to nearly zero?

And the customer who, unfortunately enters a wrong number into a transfer and loses that money because nobody at their bank has time, or can be bothered, to attempt a quick chase.

It would seem that the view of ‘The Industry’ is; ‘you made the mistake, you sort it out’.

Of course, it’s a two-way street.

There is beyond doubt people who buy financial products with the intention of defrauding the insurer or the bank.

Claimants who have had, or profess to have had, an accident where they have had injuries to their neck or spine.

Those who haven’t read their policy documents and are surprised when their claim is turned down and those that go straight to the Ombudsman.

But when you read the articles written by the financial journalists who pick up the issues from their readers, you will find that in well over 95% of the cases, they obtain recompense from the company, that was so obviously the action they should have taken in the first place.

Surely, it is the responsibility of those who operate in ‘the industry’ to make the financial journalists, who chase companies on behalf of their readers, redundant. This should be the aim of every company, big and not so big and every individual working in financial services.

It can’t be that difficult, can it?

Please put the customer first.

Offer them the best products, products that are right for them. Pay when there is a genuine claim, offer proper rates of return. Treat existing customers, as well as new ones equally. Tell customers that their custom is really appreciated and reward them for their loyalty.

Do not take customer apathy for granted and rely on it to retain them.

‘The Industry’ can do so much better. It really isn’t difficult.

Talk to the client, communicate with the customer. Make them know they are important to you. Make them want to buy your products not buy them just because they have to.

Mean what you say

Say what you mean.

Say what you do

Do what you say.

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