Customer Service…these 2 words are dear to my heart because it has a huge impact on my parents’ long-term financial comfort.
Everyone loves good customer service.
In fact, I recall being booted off an aeroplane simply because they had overbooked the flight, and I was the excess customer.
Just before I could make a huge scene of out it, they offered me a Business Class ticket alternative! Of course, I felt shiok.
On the other hand, bad customer service can ruin an experience.
And in some cases, bad customer service can almost ruin the lives of others.
Unfortunately, my parents are one such example.
I joined the Financial Planning industry in 2015 while still in university. I didn’t really need the money, but the extra income would allow me the little luxuries in life.
The moment I became licensed, I did what most consultants would do…
I requested my family’s insurance and financial portfolios to review them. They were readily available, and it was good practice for me as well.
Now, the average middle-aged family in Singapore would usually have 10-15 policies to be decently covered.
However, that day I discovered my family only had four policies. One for my dad, one for my mom, one for my brother, and one for me.
I eventually found out that over the course of 20 years, my parents had seven different agents serving them.
Each left the industry for one reason or another, and the insurance company casually assigned another agent at random to take over my family’s portfolio.
Along the way, some agents would unethically advise canceling policies so that we could take up new ones with him (more commission for him)
Or when they realised there was no immediate opportunity to sell us new policies, we never heard from them again. There were no visits, no phone calls and no messages, let alone the basic annual policy review
My parents were in their 50s when I realised how under-insured they were and did not even have some of the most basic policies.
As a result, they were left with either of these 2 options:
- Continue their low premium costs, but increase our financial risk should a major incident happen OR
- Manage our financial risks in case a major incident occurs, but start paying extremely high premiums now.
My family, upon realising, were incredibly upset. But this was our reality regardless. Thankfully, my parents are blessed with adequate savings to tide us through any storms.
Yet, not many have this luxury…and all it takes is for ‘bad customer service’ to cripple the lives of others and their loved ones.
This incident completely shifted my mindset approaching this career as an undergraduate. And in some ways, I’m thankful this realisation occurred early on in my career.
It was that point that if I’m gonna make it in this industry, I cannot allow any of my clients to go through what my parents did.
Closing a sale is always the easiest part. But it’s after the sale that’s where clients need us the most.
A simple example was with my client Dan (not his real name), had a minor injury. He had a small claim to make that he admitted was not urgent at all.
Nevertheless, I immediately made plans to visit him just to process that small claim.
Since that incident, Dan has become one of my loyal clients, and it’s this type of friendships built that I treasure with my clients.
Incidents like these make add meaning to my career. And it’s because of my clients’ trust that I have also won numerous top awards in my entire division.
I believe that every client must be treated equally. It’s not about the quantum of their policies, but it’s about appreciating that every one of their lives matter.
And I hope to continue being a pillar of reliability and confidence in good times or bad for them.
I’m Don, and I’m here to guide you through life’s adventure.