Benchmark Business Group

Balancing Your Service Efforts

June 16, 2020

In the Financial Services industry, the division between sales and service is a fine line that is often blurred. Sometimes, the blurring of the line is an opportunity for the service team to sell.

Although most of the time the blurring happens the other way. Service bleeds into the times when you or your team should be selling, or prospecting.

Service is vital. Without great service your retention rates will falter. However, service is also never ending. There is always one more thing that can be, or needs to be, completed. If one is not careful, service will overtake the majority of other activities and lead to an imbalance.

This week we challenge your business to look at the amount of time that is spent doing service work and ask, "do we have an imbalance?" and "Is the agency getting work done in other areas of the business?"

Those other areas include: sales, marketing, operations and business strategy. All five areas of business activity work together to create a successful agency. When one is lacking or overpowering the other – like service tends to do – your business will suffer the consequences.

If you find that your business struggles with service overpowering the other areas, focus on these three tips:

  • Set Expectations. Often times service work is treated as it must be done RIGHT now. While some things are needed immediately, most service work is not an emergency. When service work is not needed immediately, set the work out for a few days if possible, but let the client know. Try saying, “We’ll have this back to you in two business days, which is Thursday. Will this work for you?” If it’s a true emergency the client will let you know, but most of the time they’ll agree, giving you time to handle priorities that are not service.
  • Change your mindset. Challenge the way you and your team think about activities that are not client related. If a client sets a meeting with your agency it will most likely be held with very little chance of canceling. However, if you set prospecting time there’s a high probability something will get in the way. That's because prospecting isn’t given the same weight as client meetings due to how you think about those activities. In reality, activities such as prospecting are just as important (maybe even more so) than a client meeting.
  • Structure your schedule. To change your mindset and make time for sales, marketing and business strategy, you should rely on your schedule. Set aside time for these other areas of business. If you change your mindset and treat these times like a meeting with a client, it will help ensure that service doesn’t dominate your calendar.

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