Financial Services Dipped In Chocolate

The UPS delivery person rings the doorbell.  I mentally inventory recent online purchases and realize with delight that it’s something unexpected.

Before I even get to the return address label, large letters grab my attention:

PERISHABLE:  ONCE OPENED, CONTENTS MAY DISAPPEAR IMMEDIATELY.

Oh good, something yummy.

Then more lettering beckons me.

INSTRUCTIONS:  CLOSE AND LOCK DOOR.  HIDE BEHIND LARGE PIECE OF FURNITURE. QUIETLY OPEN BOX.  SAVOR AND ENJOY!

I am so glad that the kids aren’t home!  I eagerly tear open to find a package of succulent chocolate covered strawberries, which I ate before even reading the gift giver’s note.

How Chocolate-Soaked Fruit Relates to Financial Services

Because Shari’s Berries delivered a memorable customer experience, it is now my top gift choice—no matter what the occasion.

Shari’s Berries is an excellent example of how packaging can convert a gift-recipient into a lifelong customer.

Packaging is anything that your client sees, feels, reads or handles.  In the financial service realm, packaging can refer to your:

–                     Office environment

–                     Website

–                     Social media presence

–                     Staff interactions

–                     On-hold messaging

–                     Marketing materials

–                     Communications

–                     Presentations

–                     Educational materials

–                     Client appreciation gifts and events

Whether the impact is more subconscious than conscious, packaging makes a difference in defining your clients’ experience.  It is one of those things that is difficult to measure, but packs a punch.  One might even go as far as to say that your packaging differentiates you from the advisor down the street even more than your expertise.

When it comes to the delivery of your services, think about your packaging. Are your written materials crisp and clean?  Do you refrain from using investment jargon?  Is your website readable and engaging?  Do you respect clients’ time as much as your own?  Are you using their preferred communication modes, (e.g., texts, e-mails, or phone calls)? Are your social media messages relevant and helpful?

The key is to take action that will evoke favorable emotions.  If you want your clients to feel secure, make sure your reception area is calm and inviting.  Guests are expected, welcomed, and greeted with green tea perhaps.  You are well prepared for meetings, anticipate their questions, and provide take-away’s that reinforce your message and reflect well on you.

Packaging can be a point of differentiation in a crowded market.  If done well, it can

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