Do you provide a continuity of service?

This is a guest post from Jeanne Bliss — customer experience expert and author of “I Love You More Than My Dog.” See the original post this is adapted from and more like it on her blog.

At Edward Jones, experienced financial advisors give away a portion of their accounts to help their newest colleagues get started. Freshly minted advisors are paired with a successful veteran for at least a year, allowing them to share in the operation of the branch, receive invaluable mentoring from the veteran they are paired with, and assume responsibility for some of the veteran’s accounts. This assures that before a new advisor opens his or her own branch, that advisor has modeled the best behavior and has built relationships with clients he or she will take over from the veteran.

In this single decision, Edward Jones’s core values of cooperation, caring, and volunteerism converge.

Jeanne Bliss

Created by successful financial advisor Jim Goodknight in 1996, this process helps young colleagues successfully launch their careers. Nearly half of all new financial advisors start through what is now referred to as the Goodknight Program, or through similar coaching processes. Veteran financial advisors find it not only good for incoming advisors, but also for clients, who receive “double coverage” by both the veteran and the new advisors during the mentorship period.

Veterans are also motivated to see the firm grow, gain market share, and thrive, particularly because Edward Jones is a partnership business. They have a vested interest in doing what’s best for growth, even if it means channeling clients from the veteran’s book of business to incoming advisors.

Clients involved in a Goodknight Program are more likely to be advocates for Edward Jones.

The firm retains more new advisors, who achieve greater success. Veterans focus more on fewer clients, deepening those relationships. Customers take notice of this behavior and reward it.

Corporate collaboration is a quality of the companies customers love.

  • Would your veteran account reps be predisposed to this behavior?
  • What would you have to do to get from where you are today to this state of collaboration?
  • Do you make customers begin again?
  • Does service continue when accountability changes hands?

About Jeanne Bliss

As “Chief Customer Officer” for Lands’ End, Mazda, Coldwell Banker, Allstate, and Microsoft, Jeanne got “customer” on the strategic agenda, earned 98% loyalty rates, and changed experiences across 50,000-person operations. Jeanne now runs CustomerBliss to create an actionable path for profitability and business growth -- through earning customer and employee raves. Her best-selling books are Chief Customer Officer and I Love You More than My Dog: Five Decisions that Drive

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