Telephone Doctor: Service recovery
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Telephone Doctor: Service recovery

April 22, 2007

Closing loans, changing livesRyan Floriotransformation, competitive, communication, motivation
Recently, I ran into a friend at a coffee shop. He had just
returned from a world-class trip to Monaco where he had experienced
a Tony Robbins seminar. I was really impressed with his reeling
enthusiasm, especially considering that most people in the area
where I live have been feeling the somber effects of a cold, harsh
winter. It was a refreshing change. I noticed that the only other
people speaking so loudly in the room were the people working
behind the counter, and this was probably because they were doing
double shots of espresso. I became very curious, almost envious of
this man whose attitude was practically soaring. What was his
secret?
He told me that in the process of walking on fire and jumping
off bridges, he realized that it was only fear that had been
holding him back in the pursuit of his life goals. And by facing
some very immediate fears head on, he realized that there was
nothing real holding him back after all. He felt that his mental
blocks had been removed and now the energy coursing through him
represented lost time that he was making up for. I believed him
when he said that his life would never be the same again.
I thought about this exchange for a while afterward, probably
because this man is a business leader I respect very much and
someone I consider a mentor. It may be interesting to learn that
that man is also exceedingly successful by most standards; he runs
a multi-million dollar company, has a beautiful family, great
health and an active social life. What would motivate him to spend
thousands of dollars on a trip merely to face fears? Wouldnt he
rather sit still on a beach in Bali and drink cocktails or find
adventure during an African safari?
The fascinating answer is no.
Human psychology shows that we are in a stage of development
where what we are seeking most is transformation. We as consumers
are willing to pay for services and products that change us in our
quest to grow and change the quality of our lives. Consider the
increasing popularity of self-help books and products, gyms and
personal training services, makeover spas and clinics, off-road
driving schools and a multitude of other products and services that
make us brighter and better.
The reason this is important to business professionals is
because if we are to remain competitive, we must find a way to
provide value beyond the common experience of our services. The
evolution of business since the Industrial Revolution has moved us
from what was originally an exchange of manufactured products, to
an exchange of services, and now, ultimately, to an exchange of
experiences. We are now living in a business environment that is
based on optimized experiences, hoping for monumental shifts and
lasting impressions.
Mortgage professionals must use this information to their
advantage. It is a known fact that the sales process can be
intensely frustrating since the closing of a loan depends on so
many variables. At the same time, the client's interest and
commitment must be maintained so that the process can be carried
through to fruition. This challenge provides an opportunity to
distinguish yourself among your competitors. It can be done by
providing an optimal experience for your client.
Create an orientation toward open communication with your
customer. Recognize that he is choosing you because he wants you to
facilitate his success. He needs you to help him achieve his goal
of buying a home for the first time or perhaps moving to a larger
home where he will raise his family. In other cases, you may be
helping him succeed by securing his first investment property or
the vacation home he has worked so hard to buy. Whatever the reason
for transaction, each experience is a critical moment in the
buyer's life and should be recognized as such. By communicating
openly with your prospects and keeping them informed of your
developments every step of the way, they will become engaged to the
process and learn to trust you.
Another important opportunity lies in positioning yourself as a
knowledgeable authority in your profession. Stay informed of
changes in laws or industry procedures that affect your client and
leverage this knowledge as a reason to communicate with him, even
after the sale closes. In doing so, you will foster respect from
your clients and peers and begin to develop a pipeline of referrals
earned simply from developing a solid reputation. And because of
your expertise, he will consider it a privilege to work with
you.
Finally, go the extra mile to personalize your services by
developing a sincere relationship with your client. Make efforts to
learn his story and the motivation behind his transaction. Our work
becomes more meaningful when we are driven toward our clients
happiness. It helps to remember his birthday and anniversary dates
with a personal card or telephone greeting because it continues the
stream of thoughtfulness that was initiated during the sales
process. These subtle nuances go a long way in reminding him of the
positive experience in working with you.
It's true that life will never be the same again if we recognize
the need to be the agent of positive change in each of our sales
opportunities. If we can meet this ulterior objective and offer
lasting value beyond our customers basic expectations, our lives
will be transformed as well.
Ryan Florio is president and CEO of Cleveland-based SpecialClient.com, a
Web-based company that offers automated client relationship
programs as a vehicle for client retention and business
development. He may be reached at (216) 598-0934 or e-mail ryan@specialclient.com.

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