Virtues and Service

April 07, 2021

Anyone remember Aristotle’s 12 Virtues?1 #1 Courage, #2 Temperance? Surely you remember #7 - “Patience is a Virtue,” which I think we could use a little more of these days. Combine it with #5 Magnanimity, or generosity, and wouldn’t our world be a better place? It’s simply kindness, right? Doesn’t everyone deserve to feel important? Isn’t that what sets us apart. I mean being kind, thoughtful, thorough, isn’t that what makes us human?

When I contemplate this, I can’t help but relate it to my business and providing exceptional service. Recently I experienced an example of this.

After being cooped up nearly a year, we decided it was time to take a vacation to Park City. We thought driving would be safer than flying. Were we in for a some surprises? Every state, county and city had different rules. Many gas stations were only open for gas with no public restrooms. We began to feel helpless. Unknown territory allowed anxiety to creep in pretty quickly. And then, in the middle of west Texas, SNOW! Really? Snow already? All of the sudden the roads were slick and visibility was poor. Anxiety gave way to fear.

I thought my car was either 4-wheel or all wheel. (And what’s the difference in those anyway?) So, we pull over, open the glovebox for the manual to look up the safety features on my car and see how to turn them on. Only thing, there was no manual What? no manual! Okay, no worries. Let’s Google it. Oh, wait. We’re in the middle of nowhere. There’s no phone service. No internet...Add worry to the mix. So, we keep driving. Finally, one bar appeared.  We called the dealership and got someone in the service center. He explained the manuals were online now and no longer printed. Great! Now What!

But, instead of hanging up, which we expected, he asked, What’s the issue? Maybe I can walk you through it.” And he did just that. Turns out the car is actually smarter than we are. It automatically changes to AWD when traction on the road changes. And he even explained the difference between it and 4-wheel drive! He told us what to look for and what to expect when the feature was on. Then he asked if we needed anything else and wished us a safe trip. We were all set.

He had calmed us down and alleviated our fears. I thought, what a perfect example of exceptional customer service. It made me think about our clients and the impact we can have on them. For many people, the fear of making decisions about their financial goals, when to retire, how to manage debt, budgeting for the future, navigating the market, minimizing risk, taxes, assisting a loved one, or even preparing for unexpected life events can be overwhelming.

I believe it’s our job to calm those fears and make them feel important. Proudly I know that each and every day, my team and I remind ourselves that we are here to serve our clients.  They deserve it. We demand it. And while these are examples of the virtues of patience and magnanimity, I believe a caring, client-first mentality should be virtue #13.

So I encourage you, when you think about who you want to work with, who you want to rely on for advice, support and guidance, ask yourself, what virtues do they employ? Find someone who will calm your fears and make you feel important.


Securities and investment advisory services offered through Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. member FINRA/SIPC. Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. is separately owned and other entities and/or marketing names, products or services referenced here are independent of Royal Alliance Associates, Inc. 3522 Paesanos Pkwy, Suite 100, San Antonio, TX 78231, (210) 998-5000. 22603202-20210216