Customer Service versus Expertise

Amar Pandit , CFA , CFP

Amar Pandit

A respected entrepreneur with 25+ years of Experience, Amar Pandit is the Founder of several companies that are making a Happy difference in the lives of people. He is currently the Founder of Happyness Factory, a world-class online investment & goal-based financial planning platform through which he aims to help every Indian family save and invest wisely. He is very passionate about spreading financial literacy and is the author of 4 bestselling books (+ 2 more to release in 2020), 8 Sketch Books, Board Game and 700 + columns.

There is often a lot of confusion between customer service and expertise. Many in our profession believe that their customer service is what differentiates them from their competition. 

Think about this question – Why do you go to a Surgeon/Doctor/Architect/ Lawyer or any professional?

Assuming you have done some thinking, consider these 2 questions now.

Do you go to a professional for Customer Service?


Do you go to a professional for Expertise?

I believe you go for Expertise. Customer Service is important but will come much later after expertise. 

In the Customer Service business, the default assumption is that the customer is always right.

In the Expertise business, the default assumption is that the customer is generally wrong.

It’s not because customers do not know stuff or that they are stupid; it’s simply that they don’t have the perspectives you have. They can’t see the patterns that you can see.

Additionally, their personal feelings and emotions form a part of how they look at their money. You will be able to look at their situation clinically from a third person’s perspective. You can pull the trigger if needed. A scene from the movie, Munnabhai MBBS, concludes this second point well. In the scene, Boman Irani says “When I am doing a surgery, my hands are rock solid and steady. However, if I were to operate on my daughter, my hands would shake.” This is what I meant by their feelings and emotions can sometimes prevent or paralyze them from taking decisions that need to be taken.

So, while customer service is important, you are not in the customer service business; you are in the Expertise Business.

It certainly pays to remember that.