Paul Slater is managing director of Slater Menswear, the renowned clothing retailer. The business was founded by Paul’s father Ralph in 1973, with Paul joining a few years later at the age of 17.
Having spent his working life building the business ever since, Paul says a large part of Slater’s continuing success has been down to an unerring focus on customer service. With Slater Menswear now operating 26 stores across the UK, it’s clearly a philosophy that works.
When it came to personal insurance, Paul wanted a broker which espoused the same values.
The Slater’s previous family broker retired and Paul found himself receiving emails from what he described as a large faceless broker. This didn’t match his expectations so he started to look elsewhere.
He contacted a few insurance brokers recommended to him, and felt an affinity with Michael Gregson, who leads Blackford’s private client team. At the time Michael worked at a different broker and after moving to Blackford was restricted in being able to work with his previous clients.
Once those restrictions expired, Paul sought out Michael directly to review the insurance cover for his family home, contents, cars and travel.
The personal touch from Blackford was important to Paul, who describes as ‘abhorrent’ the move from real customer service to chatbots and complex telephone processes.
After his daughter married, Paul emailed Michael to change her name on the family travel policy.
“I had a reply from him within half an hour to acknowledge my request,” said Paul. “Then another half hour later I had a message telling me it was taken care of.”
A simple thing, perhaps, but that simplicity gives Paul the peace of mind that his family is being looked after.
Despite the repeated offers of a ‘dedicated’ account manager from large brokers, Paul prefers the continuity of and relationship with a specialist broker who understands his outlook on life and gets to know what matters to him.
As part of the conversation at his last renewal meeting, Michael picked up on new risks and provided considered advice on possible cover which could be required.
“I’m a people person. If I’m not in the office I’m in the shop speaking to customers and staff. I don’t want to deal with online forms and have to jump through various hoops to deal with my insurance. It’s nice to be able to pick up the phone and speak to someone directly – it makes life so much easier.”
What the client said
“I buy into service and I understand service, I think it’s a disappearing art. That’s why I like Blackford so much – it’s approach is very much in line with how we do business. Through dialogue and conversation Michael picks up on things which I might not have thought about from an insurance perspective. Trust is a very important part of the whole relationship. I trust that Michael has done his homework and that gives me the reassurance that we’re covered in the right way.”