by Mandy Whitburn
When I first started working with Julie, a little over 15 years ago, we worked in a small company (Cavendish) and we really knew our clients well. They were happy that they could speak to anyone of us, not just Julie and this helped to build firm relationships. In 2007, Julie sold the business and we became part of a much larger national organisation which, after a number of takeovers and changes in service, left many clients and staff unhappy.
In 2015, I was told that I was no longer allowed to speak to clients myself as the new company felt that only the planners should do this. As I love talking to clients, this was a blow to my self-esteem and job satisfaction.
When Julie suggested the idea of setting up her own company again to resume a more personal client service, I jumped at the chance of moving with her and have not regretted a single minute. Our clients are happier again, and know that they can speak to any of us in the team at Magenta.
It is so important that clients feel confident in talking to me – I have had clients call to tell me they have done something exciting and just wanted to tell someone about it. I have had a client with depression following the death of her husband call me just to have someone to listen to her when she was at her lowest. This may not be Financial Planning in the true sense, but it is what makes us different. We care about our clients and they know this and trust us.
Last year, I called a client to make an appointment and because we had a good relationship built up over many years, we were chatting when she happened to mention she was suffering with breast cancer. Once the call was over I checked her file to see if she had any critical illness cover in place, – she did! I called the company, explained the situation and arranged all the paperwork for her to be able to make a claim. The plan was due to expire in 2 months and had she not felt comfortable enough to tell me about the cancer, she would have lost over £150 000. I was able to call her and remind her about the cover (which she had forgotten) – naturally she was over the moon as this meant that the mortgage could be repaid and she didn’t have to return to work.
At Magenta, we are all empowered to take responsibility for our clients and to think “outside the box” to see the best way we can help. We can use our own personal experiences to see if these may benefit our clients and can empathise when clients are going through a rough time.
It is these small things that make my job at Magenta so rewarding. Being part of a small team that builds real relationships with clients, so we can help them make good decisions and achieve their goals, is something that makes me very happy.