Creative commentary plus crafty composition

Archive for January, 2018

Adding Value

The proposition of ‘adding value’ has been an underlying foundation for success in service-oriented businesses for many years.

If one wants to generate a positive, lasting and loyal, relationship with customers, providing those extra ingredients of value is vital. This could be indirectly related to business, i.e. taking clients to lunch, paying for tickets to events, etc., or more directly, such as keeping in regular contact, or going the extra mile in solving problems quickly, or obtaining more helpful data for decision making.

As someone who spent more than two decades in the financial services industry, I can attest that these qualities helped me retain clients for the long term.

An article in the January edition of The Insurance & Investment Journal looks at the value proposition playing out in the marketplace for current advisors. The gist of the perspective is that, to cope with technological change, not least of which is the growing impact of artificial intelligence, advisors need to exploit adding value through specialization and breadth of product knowledge. Changes involving online selling and administration demand making positive use of technology.

Into this mix one can add the evolving demands of consumers, to which advisors and businesses both must adapt if they want to remain in the picture.

There are, of course, other creative ways in which to add value:

  • Hand out colourful PLUS signs to help keep top of mind the goal of having an ‘add(ed)’ mindset
  • Provide clients with pocket magnifiers so they can more easily see data they actually want
  • Sensitize frequently used forms to personify them in presentations and administration requirements
  • Have some delicately coded ‘dirt’ on robot advisors to make it easier to damage their competitive credibility if need be
  • Secretly buy share certificates in AI technology, and include them as promotional gifts to clients
  • Bring along visual specialists, to strive to make every environment shown in the best light

You Know It’s Time to Move On

I have a friend who is being compelled to move from her longstanding residence shortly, due to a very unfortunate set of circumstances. She is quite unhappy, having to give up the apartment, albeit in a creaky old house, given its scenic, multidirectional view, but the environment has become untenable.

One of the constants of life is change – but some changes are much earlier to adapt to than others. (more…)

Charitable Rewards

According to a recent report from the Fraser Institute, using tax data, the percentage of Canadians giving to charities has diminished to about 21% from a level of 25% ten years earlier. It has also gone down as a percentage of income.

Americans compare more favourably on this particular scale, with nearly 25% contributing and at a much higher rate of income than Canadians. (more…)