Blog Post

Advice Efficiency

No adviser is an island

deladz's avatar
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15 days ago

There’s a lot that goes into what was once quite a straightforward adviser-client relationship – booking client appointments, ongoing fee arrangements, research, advice creation and file completion, to name a few. 

It’s nearly impossible for an adviser to handle all of these tasks by themselves, which is why many of them are struggling with the capacity to onboard new clients. Those advisers who do manage these tasks on their own will often admit they have no time to look for or even accept new business. 

In fact, some advisers find themselves so busy with ongoing client requirements that they barely have any time to service their existing clients to the best of their abilities.

This is where the “team” needs to step in to ensure the client experience remains at a high standard, regardless of how busy the adviser is. The team includes the receptionist, client service officers, paraplanners and implementation staff. Everyone on the team needs to know exactly what the client experience should look like and buy into this experience; you want everyone working towards the same outcomes. 

Equally important is that each team member is aware of their responsibilities and knows precisely where they need to “step in” during the process. Too much time is wasted trying to find where the ball was dropped or deciding who should have completed the task; when there is ownership of a role as well as an outcome, everyone will end up moving in the same direction.

Practices also need to have a centralised “source of truth”: a place where workflow is tracked and client information stored. There are too many times when a client calls and needs to speak to their adviser urgently, only for it to be a question around a lodgement form or change of pension payment. 

To address this problem, one practice we work with has a “cheat sheet” on the front page of their CRM that lists the client’s kids, hobbies, drink of choice as well as the last completed implementation task and advice document. When the client realises that everyone in the team knows them and their situation, they’re happy to have a chat, ask the question to whoever picks up the phone and trust that they’re getting the same answer they would if they were speaking to their adviser. 

Of course, this kind of arrangement requires trust. The adviser needs to have faith that their team has the knowledge, competence and follow-through to ensure that things will run smoothly and the client will have the best possible outcome. 

Open and honest dialogue is paramount here – are people in the right role and working to their strengths? When something hasn’t gone to plan, is there a process to follow and is it picked up and resolved in a timely manner? 

The individuals within the team need to be trained regularly to ensure they understand the practice and compliance requirements and then empowered to make decisions based on this knowledge. The work of building client relationships can then be spread across the entire team – rather than just the lone adviser. 

A problem shared is a problem halved, after all.

Updated 15 days ago
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