Financial Advisors: Is It Time to Evolve Your Client Experience?
September 16, 2019
by Adrian Johnstone
In my previous posts, we talked about growing a financial advisory business and what growth could mean for your firm. Clients represent a very important part of that growth picture. They not only drive your profits, but they are the heart of your business. So, it makes complete sense to want to ensure that your relationships are nothing short of superb. However, with financial information so readily available (think: Google), advisory firms have to prove their value more than ever. Part of your firm’s value may rely on creating an authentic relationship that delivers an experience your clients can’t get from a simple internet search.
If you’re working on evolving your firm’s client experience, it’s important to review everything to ensure you can deliver the best service. Here are some helpful questions to ask yourself as you work on building a great experience:
What areas are you actually making a difference for the client?
Generating a statement of advice is a necessary part of the job, but it doesn’t necessarily add value. Instead, consider the larger conversation and try to explain and visualize what your client can expect after your first interaction. Talk through a presentation or handout that goes through the steps of what happens behind the scenes. This shows the client that you understand their situation and that you can help them achieve their goals. It’ll also help strengthen your relationship.
What systems and processes do you use to interact with clients and monitor their experience?
Review the systems or processes you use to track your client interactions. If you have separate systems, do they talk to each other? Having bits of client information in separate platforms that don’t talk to each other will make it hard for you to deliver a world-class client experience. So, as you consider bringing in new systems and providing additional services, you’ll need a “source of truth” for all your most important client information in real time. This ensures you provide your clients and your team with the most relevant and helpful information when they need it.
Who’s responsible for each aspect of your client’s experience?
For many firms, a team of folks may interact with a client over the course of the client’s lifecycle. There may be an individual responsible for onboarding and there might be someone else in charge of the client’s overall financial wellbeing. No matter how the tasks and services are divided, it’s important to create a seamless and enjoyable experience for your clients. Whether a team or an individual is responsible for that client, you and your team should have oversight over each process and make sure you’re gathering, tracking, and sharing this data in real-time.
What value (tangible and intangible) does your service provide and what could you improve?
Tangible benefits can include saving your clients from unnecessary fees and achieving investment returns above industry benchmarks. Intangible value can come from trust, understanding, accountability, and care. It’s important to provide a mixture of both. And when you’re thinking about areas of improvement, carefully consider if these can be turned into services of value. If it’s not likely, and if you and your team are spending a lot of time on these tasks, it may be worth outsourcing these services so that you can free up your time to focus on areas where you excel and provide real value to your clients.
Elevating Your Client Experience
A great client experience is not only important for maintaining your business, but it’s also crucial to growing your advisory firm. Reviewing and improving how you interact with clients will only help your firm in the long run. To read more about this and other tips for business growth, download our free guide “Built for Growth: A guide to Growing Your Advice Firm” below.