Saturday, June 21, 2008

Working Beyond the Adviser's Role

I wrote about Mr Chan whose Incomeshield commenced on 1st Feb but was admitted to hospital on 25th Jan in my previous postings. He had actually submitted the claims under Medishield because the policy had not commenced and he hope he can submit the claims under Incomeshield for a larger payout.

I explained that it is not likely but if he wish, we can go to the hospital and submit the claim under Incomeshield. He did not object to what I says about the claims most probable rejection and had rejected my offer to go down hospital with him. I had asked him twice about his bill on 2 occasions and he told me $20k. I had stopped there and presumed that things are ok.

Mr Chan somehow engaged the help of a GE Life Planner, Keith Ng Keng Kwang. From him, I learnt that Mr Chan's bill is actually $60+K. I was surprised because I totally don't understand why he wants to lie to me that his hospital bill. Anyway, I do not know how Keith get to know Mr Chan, but from him, I had seen a professional and a real helpful soul who work beyond his profession. This is how it goes...

* On Wednesday afternoon, Keith called me to enquire about Mr Chan's case. He requested that I arrange with NTUC Income claims officer to discuss the issue.
* Its a known fact that claims people usually do not talk to PH directly but I managed to get the Claims manager for an appt on Friday morning to discuss this issue.

* So what are the credits I like to give Keith?
1) He must have spent quite sometime listening to Mr Chan about his problem.
2) He called and request my help to appeal with the claims officer
3) He drove Mr Chan from home to Income Centre on a early Friday morning
4) He spoke professionally and stated his points for the appeal.
5) He later bring Mr Chan to Tan Tock Seng Hospital to appeal on the reduction of his hospital bill.
6) He mentioned that if everythings fail, he will help him appeal with his MP in Bedok.
7) He told me that we must do our best to help our clients no matter how slim the chance is.

He get nothing for doing all these hard work but I'm sure he had gained the trust of Mr Chan.

I only hope Mr Chan will not forget what I did for him:
* I had spent nearly 3 hours with him explaining the Incomeshield in 2006. I usually spent a lot of time with him because he asked a lot of questions.
* I had spent half hour trying to convince him not to terminate his Incomeshield that time after he freelook the policy he just took up.
* I had spent 4 hours explaining the Incomeshield again in January this year.
* I had spent 2 hours with him explaining every single clause of the policy recently.
* I had tried so hard getting a claims manager to talk to him directly and get the case up for an appeal.
* I offered him help for an appeal which he rejected.

For this Incomeshield case, I believe I had done my part as an adviser, but when I met Keith, I realised that there are people who goes beyond the adviser's role and do things with a passionate heart. In term of gaining the trust of this client and his family, I think I had lost to him flat. If Mr Chan and his family of friends need advice, he will more likely refer them to Keith than me. Its really heartening to see advisers like Keith around.


Anonymous said...

Unfortunately these are what separates the men from the boys. Those mediocre sales staff often spent time explaining what they cannot do and their difficulties. Those outstanding ones get the job done. But I do not blame you as you were from NTUC Income. The lower standards are to be expected. Put it this way, the outstanding companies put the customer first, employees second and company third so their vision statement is something like:

For our customers,
For our employees,
For our company

But for NTUC Income it seems to be more like:

For our CEO
For our NTUC
For our employees

and they forgot about the policyholders who are their customers.

What to do? It has happened.
Let's move on.
Cheers, back to the wine cellar,
Back to the shoulder massages,
Back to the Ritz-Carlton for meetings.
Back to the sazzy comfort of the $2,000 dollars chairs.
Back to the posh offices.
Back to the exotic incentive trips to far flung places
Back to the high pay and not answering policyholders mail and calls.....
Welcome back to the new NTUC Income...

Anonymous said...

What about back to Kreta Ayer? No!! not back to the 'water cart'place. It is degrading. Let's have it at the ROCK or the Esplanade or Ritz Calton.
It is not my money, lor.Anyway our spoilt and greedy agents need to feel good, feel loved and feel the class.
Oh for crying out loud, these despicable looked down product peddlers need to be boosted, their self esteem needs masaasaged,their ego needs fixed so that they don't feel at the bottom of the industry.

Wealth Journey said...

Look on the bright side, you recognized your inadequacy and recognized another professional. These two tasks in itself are very difficult for anyone to admit.

But I agree with anonymous. You seem to draw a line between your job scope and what can be done. You did not go beyond the line of duty as Keith have done.

Thanks for your post as we all learnt that all the technical details, all the effort you put in that cannot be seen is redundant if you cannot gain the trust of the customer (like what keith have done).

Oh, maybe i might be too frank with you ..but I do think you whine alot about everything. I just read a few blog of yours and it seems to be centred on why your customers could not wait for you, why they did not refer their friends to you instead.

Is it time for some introspection on why this happens to you? Could it be that your actions did not build any trust with your customers?

Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

Thanks for the comments. I quite surprised to know I had given people an impression that I'm complaining.

Perhaps, I had written too much on how I feel of certain things.

Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

For this posting, I just want to express an real life example of our fellow professional who goes beyond their duties to do more for another person in need.

I respect Keith for the work he did. But I also have a feeling that my client, Mr Chan is thinking how lousy I am as his adviser.

All of us are learning and I just like to share my knowledge, observations and experiences with all of you... At the same time, I'm learning from all of you.

Derek said...

Hi Adrian,

On first impression, I also thought that you were complaining but as I read further, I realized that you are actually giving credit to the person. I guess when you wanna give credit to someone, lets talk about him and his positives.


Anonymous said...

NTUC agents' credibility not so good. Their motives are always suspected. It is well known in the market that ntuc agents are salesmen and product pushers and therefore whatever they want to sell puts people off.
You happen to be put together with these agents and it took sometime for this Mr. Chan to realise you are not.
Fortunately you are out of NTUC. But it will be sometime for you to shake off this NTUCness and product pushing bad image. The sooner you distance yourself from NTUC the better. Reposition yourself as planner; speak, walk and think like a planner and not glib tongue bullshitting ntuc insurance salesmen.

Khiat Han Hwee Adrian said...

Thanks for your comment, Derek. I guess I wrote too much of how I feel Mr Chan will have forgot what I went through with him.

I'm really admire Keith for what he did for my client. I'm not trying to compare myself with him.

I'll bring Mr Chan to FIDReC if he is still not happy with how NTUC Income handle his claim and want to proceed further.

Anonymous said...

I think I need a financial adviser like you Adrian. HOw do you charge? Can explain your charges to your readers so all can see how to engage you.


Anonymous said...

I tend to agree with Wealth Journey on the whining part. Sorry..

But let's be fair to Adrian. Clients should be responsible for their own actions. If they choose to terminate the plan thinking they are immortal, but only to subscribe back the plan after developing medical conditions, they have only themselves to blame. Otherwise why the need for a contract leh?

While I emphatize with Mr Chan, I don't see there's a case for him. If Income admits the claim, it will be unfair to all existing policholders who have been faithfully paying for many many years.

I would rather my adviser does a proper job at the beginning, and not those unnecessary acts after things had happened as if they are very noble.

Come on, Adrian is not living on grass. One Incomeshield policy can only buy a few plates of wan ton mee. But I won't be able to comment whether he has done a good job in the first place in advising Mr Chan about the importance of keeping the shield plan.