Recently I attempted to call a wealth management firm to inquire about their platform, process and promise of outcome. Their automatic answering system directed me to select from several options to make an inquiry. Yet none of them took me anywhere except their general mailbox, which was full. I then called back and tried their “reach an advisor by name” directory. Amazingly after entering every single extension given not only did I not reach a single person, I was auto informed that my entry(s) were all invalid! No Joke! How would a prospect reach anyone in this firm?

But it doesn’t stop there, too often when calling any firm or advisor the best you can hope for is to reach a live person who then proceeds to tell you the person you’re calling is ”unavailable“ but asks “would you like their voice mail?” With so many firms concerned with “phone coverage” for incoming calls this offer falls woefully short of an elevated experience or even a reasonable service response. No phone coverage is needed to leave a voice mail!

In contrast, over the Christmas holidays I called the Kahala Hotel in Honolulu for dinner reservations on their popular veranda which overlooks the Pacific Ocean. My call was answered promptly by the hostess but, unfortunately the veranda was booked for the time I wanted on Christmas Eve. BUT the hostess offered “I don’t want you to wait for me to find an alternative time slot while I seat my current guests, so I would be delighted to transfer you to the veranda manager who will do everything possible to find a time that could work for you.” The manager answered on the second ring & found a time slot that would work and then gave me her personal direct line if “I needed further help.” Sweet!

When someone calls into your office is this same level of care demonstrated?

The shift in approach that is needed to elevate the incoming call experience for clients and prospects alike is really quite simple. Instead of the automatic “would you like their voice mail“ why not instead say, “He/she is not available however how can/may I help you?”

This shift in service protocol personalizes and humanizes the person’s inquiry & makes a noteworthy impression.

So although your auto directory and voice mail may work, putting client service & their impressions first will make you and your work much more distinct.

C. Richard Weylman CSP, CPAE

Elevating your Business performance in Today’s Marketplace


Weylman Consulting Group

The Weylman Center for Excellence in Practice Management

Leave a Reply