Focus on Positive Customer Journeys

by Grace A. Garwood Sept/Oct 2020
Falcon Leasing’s rewarding company culture and employee satisfaction have nurtured tremendous growth through its responsive, personalized customer service, teamwork and a multichannel origination strategy.

Joel Mikolich,
Falcon Leasing

Joel Mikolich started his career with a machine tool distributor and entered the financial side of the industry as a captive broker, eventually transitioning to a bank-owned equipment finance company. From there he moved into various sales and management positions at national banks before joining the Falcon Leasing team in August 2019.

Falcon Leasing, a division of Falcon National Bank, serves all 50 states with ticket sizes ranging from $5,000 to $2 million. The company takes pride in providing “personal, responsive, quick service while maintaining that family-owned small business community bank feel,” Mikolich says.

Falcon Leasing also has been named one of the Top Workplaces in Minneapolis by the Star Tribune for 10 years running. “Our team of industry veterans and experienced employees really care about our customers,” Mikolich says. “We’ve got a great culture. Our ability to make a difference is one of the most rewarding aspects of what we do.”

Mikolich considers Falcon’s devoted, customer-focused team to be the driving force behind its impressive growth. “When our employees are happy, it directly correlates to a positive customer journey,” Mikolich says. “We receive a lot of customer referrals and endorsements from our vendor partners. That is the ultimate compliment and confirmation of purpose.”

Partner referrals play a strong role in Falcon Leasing’s origination strategy, which combines all channels — from direct customers and national vendor programs to third-party wholesale funding sources — on both the buy and sell side. This diversification helps manage risk and maintain balance from a collateral, geographic and industry standpoint, Mikolich says.

When it comes to asset classes, Falcon is a generalist in nature, financing everything from “air compressors to Zambonis,” Mikolich says. “We’re just a very unassuming, roll up your sleeves, find a way to say yes organization. Our employees are guided by our principles and they’re empowered to take care of our customers.”

Falcon Leasing has taken the challenges of COVID-19 one day at a time. For customers, the team used a hands-on approach by reaching out, having in-depth discussions and customizing solutions that fit each customer’s unique individual needs. “We decided early on not to bucket everybody into the same solution,” Mikolich says. “Not everyone needs a 90-day deferral, which a lot of companies just hand out.”

Internally, setting up operations outside the office was a massive undertaking, but the company’s entire leasing division now has remote working capabilities. This has created surprising new efficiencies, including paperless operations and tremendous flexibility with staffing.

Mikolich’s biggest takeaway from the pandemic is an increased appreciation for the Falcon Leasing team. He marvels at their willingness to pitch in, act selflessly, accept new challenges and face them head on. “We’re all moving forward in the same direction,” Mikolich says. “And it’s a great feeling to be part of that success.”

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