Excelling during challenging times – Guest Editorial

Stanislav Bunimovich

By Stanislav Bunimovich, Global Head Client Services at CFH demonstrates his perspective on successful business attributes in these new and challenging times, sharing an inside view on specific areas in which extra value can be provided to corporate clients

By Stanislav Bunimovich, Global Head Client Services at CFH

COVID-19, through the challenges it brought to organisations around the world, has exposed companies’ capability to cope under pressure and has amplified the need for agility to a level not known in past decades.

At micro and macro levels, across cultures, countries and communities, the singularity of this crisis is that everyone’s been affected. Let’s first of all, come out of this in good health. And that, we’ve understood, requires each of us to contribute. That’s very much true in our industry, too. As actors of the financial market, we have to recognise that and do our best to support the business.

In this unprecedented situation, we want to ensure that we do not compromise on quality. We will keep raising the bar. We also want to venture out into new operating ways in order to alleviate some of the challenges that clients are facing. For CFH, nothing’s new here, this is, and always has been, our attitude at all times. The current situation has just put our abilities to the test.

Stanislav Bunimovich

Some organisations have risen to the challenge whilst others have stayed behind. Take my personal experience, for example, with a service provider. When I decided to upgrade the service I receive in order to better suit my current needs, I tried to reach out to my then service provider.

Understandably, in the first few weeks of lockdown, availability was scarce and their call centre wasn’t reachable. However, one would expect that a service provider’s website would function and handle simple requests automatically. It didn’t. For weeks. No phone, no chat, no website. For a major service provider to fail in maintaining such basics, one can only imagine the internal mayhem to address it.

One can only assume that it was highly unlikely that reshaping their operating model, in order to better support their clients in those challenging times, was even on the table. In the meantime, a competitor was able to provide me with a quote within a couple of minutes, on their website, and offered to schedule an upgrade within the next 5 days, via text message.

So here is my question; what makes one company succeed and how do companies excel in meeting their customers’ expectations during challenging times?

Strong essentials in place.

It’s been quite common for years now to be able to work remotely. Be it from a client’s meeting room, from home or whilst traveling abroad. In most cases though, this has been reserved to a few occasions. Quite suddenly companies required all their employees to work from home. Imagine the magnitude of the IT infrastructure putting companies’ Business Continuity Plans to the test. And for most companies it meant that, aside from the obvious email inboxes, all major systems and software had to keep running smoothly.

At CFH, we pride ourselves in having the best IT experts in the industry with years of experience in Finance and FX trading and with deep knowledge of the technology and best practices.

For us, it has always been a key priority to hire and retain talents. Our IT team has been immensely valuable in the best of times, so excelling and exceeding expectations as they have during the times of COVID-19 highlighted the exceptional solidity and agility our IT team provides on a daily basis. It is this experience and knowledge that prepares companies to face challenges and that is what firms owe their clients who put their trust in their systems.

So no matter the circumstances, we have ensured we are providing the same superior level of services that built our reputation in the first place – pre-COVID-19.

Can do attitude culture.

Competencies are a must. As Global Head of the Client Services team there are a few fundamental requirements for new starters to pass the initial screening test, but, and this is a very important “but”, we value individuals’ appetite to learn and their willingness to be the best version of themselves above all others. I need people, who will always seek to add value to the business; to add substance to the team when no one is looking and when no one is there to check and give a “reward” for the effort. This type of attitude, of wanting to add value even when no one is looking, is in the DNA of the person; it is there whether one uses is or not.

The way our Client Services team operates is based on this philosophy: every single client request is considered as “this is mine, I care as if it was my business” as opposed to “how do I deal with this and get rid of it as quickly as possible”. To achieve this, every team member is trained, from the first day of becoming part of the team. The motto is pretty straightforward: “One should be prepared to find a solution to anything raised by a client.” With time, surrounded by colleagues displaying this attitude, this is how each member of our team will eventually reason:

  • “I will find the way to find a solution!”
  • “Even if I do not know how, I will figure it out by finding someone who does!”
  • “It is MY problem and not another person/department issue!”
  • So I’ll be looking for competencies- yes, but what I value the most is the right attitude; ‘I can do it and if I can’t, I’ll figure out a way to do it.’

Impeccable attention to clients’ needs.

We are welcoming every complaint. Often, we welcome them more than the positive feedback. Because it allows us to learn how and where we can do better. We are welcoming clients with different and difficult requirements, alternate business experiences and with extremely high service expectations. This ensures that we stay ahead of the curve; constant movement and continuous challenges allow us to foresee what will be required next and enables us to prepare our organisation for it.

We take pride in our technology and our trading platforms and if you think that there is something missing that could add more value to your business, please do let us know. We will endeavour to address it. To fit your requirements, we will often come up with a customised solution and that’s what makes us proud. We are able to and proud of fulfilling challenging requests. It gives us the immense satisfaction that our teams and system could, yet again, deliver value to the client.

Providing the best quality service we can, is something that goes without saying. It is our starting point for every conversation. Eventually, our ultimate goal is to deliver more value to our clients, more value added to the business relationship, to our clients’ own clients and their stakeholders.

It should come as no surprise then how we define success; “Success is becoming better whilst adding value to our clients.”
We are always curious. We are always eager. We always care. We are there for every client and for any challenge. It is what we have always stood for and what has proven to be our best asset in these challenging times.

The subject matter and the content of this article are solely the views of the author. FinanceFeeds does not bear any legal responsibility for the content of this article and they do not reflect the viewpoint of FinanceFeeds or its editorial staff.

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