As told by Tina Hodges
“When Advance Financial started out, we were the typical mom-and-pop store; we made a lot of mistakes and we learned from them. One such lesson came from our decision to stay open 24/7; our customers loved the idea of Advance Financial staying open all the time – they could access their Flex Loans and receive cash during emergencies. Our stores doubled in numbers, and we were able to provide more services such as free money orders and cash advance loans, but we didn’t realize how this change would impact our employees.
Our approach was short-sighted. We didn’t realize that extending work hours would have the impact it did. As a result, we lost some good employees.
This was a huge turning point for us. We learned that we needed to focus on our employee experience as much as our customer experience. If we expected our employees to invest themselves into Advance Financial’s future, we needed to invest in them to make their decision worth it.
Now, it’s all about balance. As Advance Financial provides services that our customers’ want, we think through how we can bring about this change while accommodating our employees’ requirements, such as hiring more staff, accommodating more flexible schedules and providing more coaching.
If your employees aren’t happy, your customers will see that. And the level of customer service won’t reflect our commitment to providing a world-class customer experience.
As we’ve grown and added new services and products, we have completely changed our management structure. Now, for every five Advance Financial stores, we have one district manager. Once every week, the district manager spends an entire day in the store reviewing details on the loans and financial services we offer, coaching the store manager and taking feedback from the employees on ideas to serve our customers even better.
Today, when we roll something out, we talk to our district managers and collect their input to make the introduction as seamless as possible. Then, we encourage our employees to talk to us and let us know how we can improve. We keep the lines of communication open. Advance Financial employees are on the front lines of our customer experience. They see exactly how our customers are responding to the services and products we offer. As the eyes and ears of our 24/7 retail store locations, it’s critical to involve them in important decisions to ensure Advance Financial is the best it can be.”
About Advance Financial
Advance Financial was founded to address the lack of flexible lending solutions for the residents of Tennessee. AF provides 24/7/365 money lending and financial services such as free money orders, prepaid cards, flex loans, check cashing services, line of credit loan, etc., both in its stores and through its website. Advance Financial was named to Forbes first-ever 2018 list of ‘Best Employers for New Graduates.’ AF was also named Nashville’s 4th fastest growing company by the Nashville Business Journal.
Original Source: Crain’s Nashville