Last week, while travelling to the NAILBA 30 conference in Phoenix, I zipped by a well-known fast-food chain to snag a breakfast sandwich. I ordered a bacon and egg biscuit. After I’d driven away, I opened the bag to find a sausage and egg biscuit.
OK, I realize they both come from pigs or Sus scrofa domesticus, but I ordered bacon. I even asked for crispy bacon. Instead, I got a spicy sausage patty.
The USDA defines bacon as “the cured belly of a swine carcass” while sausage, according to Wikipedia, “is formed in a casing traditionally made from (the) intestine…and sausage makers put to use tissues and organs…such as scraps, organ meats blood, and fat.”
Look, no matter how you slice it, what I got was not what I ordered. As I was trying to figure out how to discard my blackened disc of intestinal scraps, I got to thinking of the advisor-client relationship and the gap between good and great customer service. Yes, my brain really does Ping-Pong at times between food and financial services. I mean, doesn’t everybody’s?
So with the sausage given a proper burial at sea, encased in its porcelain tomb, I gave more thought to the question of customer service. Or more importantly: Are clients getting what they want and what they need? Those two things are not synonymous. I knew what I wanted: bacon. The client may know they want to have money throughout their retirement and not wake up one day having outlived their assets. But how do they know how to get there?