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How to deliver white glove customer service

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How to deliver white glove customer service

Updated: August 3rd, 2023

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White glove customer service is a phrase that conjures images of grandeur, like the famous Plaza Hotel bellhops in New York or a distinguished sommelier in a Michelin star restaurant in Chicago.

White glove customer service is a phrase that conjures images of grandeur, like the famous Plaza Hotel bellhops in New York or a distinguished sommelier in a Michelin star restaurant in Chicago.

Unfortunately, the expectation of white-glove service has fallen flat when it comes to the financial services industry. After years of lackluster service at their bank, consumers and small business owners are disenchanted with – and wary of – traditional financial institutions.

Seeing an opportunity to build something better, a new wave of online, nonbank fintech companies – like Funding Circle – has emerged. They’re using innovative technology and creative thinking to reinvigorate an archaic industry’s passion for service.

At Funding Circle, we don’t understand why other financial services companies have left ‘white-glove’ service out of their vocabularies. We are dedicated to bringing back white glove customer service to the industry. We are doing this by championing the interests of small businesses and building a financial brand people can love.

Every day, we work with thousands of small business owners across America and help them secure the financing they need to grow and prosper in their local communities. To that end, we’re continually challenging ourselves to raise the bar when it comes to delivering best-in-class service.

Here are three examples of how you may want to consider delivering white glove customer service in your business:

1. Create memorable, white glove customer service moments.

Customers don’t just buy your products; they buy feelings and solutions and experiences. If you find yourself in a tricky situation – and you will – look for ways you can turn minor glitches into genuinely memorable moments for customers.

Put into practice: After guiding a New York antique store through our application process, we experienced some technical issues electronically delivering the closing documents. One of our team members was heading on vacation to the New York area later that week to visit family, so he offered to deliver the closing documents in person. He did just that, stopping at the customer’s Upper West Side apartment with the documents in hand to finalize the deal.

2. Celebrate your customers’ successes.

Success is often a series of small wins. It’s important to celebrate each and everyone with your customers as you take them through the sales funnel. Part of what defines what white glove customer service is recognizing even minor successes.

Put into practice: Funding Circle recently funded a bicycle shop in Los Angeles. Coincidentally, a member of our dedicated account management team who took the small business applicant through our application process had just booked a trip to the area. He decided to stop in and shake the hand of the customer who he had worked so closely with to get the deal done. Afterward, they shared a few drinks together on the Venice boardwalk to celebrate.

3. Excellent white glove service means looking for creative ways to surprise and delight your customers.

Want to set yourself apart from the competition when it comes to white glove customer service? Do something kind and unexpected to show that you really care about your customers.

Put into practice: One of our small business owners mentioned that he was in the running for the ‘Best Sandwich in San Francisco’ award from a local newspaper. Instead of merely wishing him luck, a member of our team organized a campaign in our office to encourage friends and family to try the sandwich shop and vote in the competition! Shortly after, the restaurant was named ‘Best Sandwich in San Francisco’ for 2014, in part thanks to Calley’s effort to go above and beyond in terms of white-glove service.

4. White glove customer service doesn’t stop after a purchase.

Keeping in touch with your customers helps them feel cared for and increases their loyalty to your brand. Whether you opt to check in with email, a flyer, or community events that gather people to your business, it’s essential to show people they’re worth more than just what they purchase. 

Put into practice: A woman seeking to expand her own medical practice sought out Funding Circle to fund a new location. With other lenders, they treated her as dollar signs instead of as an individual. However, Funding Circle offered the same white glove customer service she prides herself on providing her patients. With constant updates over email and regular check-ins from a member of our team, she not only successfully opened her second location but also felt truly understood throughout the process.

5. Respond quickly and helpfully.

Customers expect quick responses. In fact, 82% of them expect an immediate response, or they’ll go elsewhere. Make sure to provide relevant, helpful answers to your customers’ questions as quickly as possible.

Put into practice: One of our small business owners was on a strict timeframe to get funding and renovate her party and events center. So, she applied for an SBA loan. As valuable weeks went by, and she still didn’t hear back, she instead came to Funding Circle. Before she even heard back about her SBA loan, she was approved for funding and received the finances she needed – all with less stress and less paperwork. 

Bottom line

Offering white glove customer service is as simple as it sounds: treating customers with respect and following-up when you say you will. Additionally, answering questions honestly, and setting expectations appropriately matters, too. And never fear! If you ever feel like you haven’t lived up to your commitment to service, just do everything in your power to learn from those shortfalls and knock it out of the park the next time.


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