By John Lightfoot, Head of Relationship Management at Ultimate Finance

At Ultimate Finance we pride ourselves on the strength of the relationships that we build with our clients. Everyone in our organisation works incredibly hard to ensure that our clients receive the quality of service they expect. This approach has helped us to be the funding partner of choice for more and more businesses and to deliver our outstanding Trustpilot score of 4.9 and a Net Promoter Score of 66 vs the financial services sector average of 34.

Whilst there are many aspects to building great relationships – from a slick and smooth onboarding process, to efficient and helpful back office support and outstanding connectivity – one of the key reasons cited through our client feedback is the service and support delivered by our Relationship Management team.

We have built our relationship management model to ensure the core service is delivered ‘brilliantly’ and focus on adding value where we can, with our team on hand and easy to contact through multiple channels. Each member of the team is responsible for their own clients and have a mission to ensure our clients are supported and happy with the service they receive. By doing this we know it will help them to build their business.

Our core service is all about delivering ‘outstanding basics’ which ensures their funding facility runs as smoothly as possible on a day to day basis.  And some of them really are basic but fundamentally important to our clients – ensuring we are available for their calls or return messages as quickly as possible, that their funding facility is fully understood and how to get the most from it. These ‘outstanding basics’ are the bedrock of our relationships. However, we acknowledge too that we won’t always get it right so what we promise is that if we make mistakes, we will correct them as quickly as possible and apologise.

Our Relationship Managers love to pop out to see their clients, and the feeling is mutual too. During the Covid-19 outbreak, the team have found this lack of face to face interaction hard – it’s a core part of their job. Consequently, we are now holding lots of ‘virtual’ meetings to ensure clients continue to receive the support they need. This isn’t ideal but it is helping to keep their business moving. These meetings aren’t run to our agenda, they are run to the agenda of our clients. What do they need? How can we help?

Alongside the outstanding basics, our Relationship Managers aim to ‘add value’ to our client base. This can take a variety of forms. Our website has a wide range of resources that help our clients with running their business. Prior to Covid-19. we ran several seminars and workshops aimed to add value – varied in content they included topics such as selling via social media, Mental Health awareness and improving credit control functions. Things that make a real difference to our clients and their businesses. Since the outbreak we haven’t stopped delivering these value-add events, we have just switched them to an online delivery, and they have been really well received.

We aim to make our approach to Relationship Management one of our USPs and it is built on three key pillars- a local Relationship Manager, Outstanding Basics and Added Value to the client’s business that goes beyond the finance and facility that we provide.  So far, feedback says we’re achieving this, and we aim to improve it all the time.