Almost 6 years ago I wrote a Blog ‘why smaller is better’. This month, Gretchen asked me to revisit this and update it with my experiences and thoughts over the period that has since elapsed and share this with you… so here goes!
I have worked with some of Magenta’s clients for over 20 years now. I have seen their children grow and go off to university, I have seen others go from busy executive roles to happy retirees and, as is inevitable, I have seen some pass away. These relationships mean a lot to me, I know the names of children and often pets too.
During the last 20 years, the company I started with, with Julie Lord at the helm, was taken over and we became part of a large corporate entity, and the personal touch was lost. No matter how hard we tried we couldn’t deliver the client service we wanted to. Then, Julie and Gretchen set up Magenta and asked me to be a part of that with them – and I jumped at the chance.
As many of you know, Julie has now retired and is living the dream and we have Gretchen at the helm, guiding us expertly through what has been a very turbulent time in the last 2 years with a Pandemic and now economic turmoil.
Having seen first-hand how the personal touch is lost with a large company I get great joy from being part of a small team again and being able to offer the personal service that we do. It is the long-term personal relationships we have with our clients that set us apart.
It is not unusual for clients to call me just for a chat, some of our clients live alone and have nobody to tell if something exciting has happened or if they are worried about something. I had a call from a client who’s local bank branch was closing and, because she is of limited mobility, this was a problem for her and she didn’t know what to do. She is not “tech savvy” and has no family close by so called us for help. A bit of googling and a couple of calls later we were able to provide her with the necessary contact numbers for her next closest bank and information on what she would need to do to get her account switched.
Sadly, we have had some clients pass away recently. This is something that does affect us as individuals as we can empathise with the families. I have been known to shed a tear when a client dies as I have built close relationships over the years. It is important that we know who your next of kin are so that when the time comes we can assist them as much as possible with the administration of your affairs and take some of that pressure off at a difficult time. We often have family members attend the meeting so that they can get to know us and understand we have your best interest at heart.
We have clients who may be facing moving into residential care and we can help with the planning of their finances to ensure that fees are paid in the best way and liaise with the families to ensure continuity of contact. Just because we can no longer meet face to face does not mean that relationship ends, it is very important that it continues with the family’s input.
It is examples like these, of the personal touch, that are missing from the ethos of many large companies where the focus is on treating everyone the same. We are not all the same, we are individuals and deserve to be treated as such.
I’m very proud to work at a company now, where I know that we are really interested in you and your life, what it is you want to achieve and what makes you happy. We are only a small team but our ages span over 40 years so we have a wealth of life experiences that enable us to empathise with our clients if they are going through a rough time. Some of our own experiences may mean that we are able to offer insights into what worked for us in some personal situations our clients may be facing.
I delight in getting to know our new clients, understand how they best like to communicate, work with us and how we can best assist them more and more as they years go by.
At Magenta we are encouraged to work as a team and share our experiences and knowledge with each other. We are empowered to take responsibility for the clients and to think “outside the box” as one solution does not fit all.
Being part of a small team where our opinions and experiences count, enables us at Magenta to give that truly personal service you deserve and makes me very happy. That’s why smaller is better!
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