Blog Post

Business Strategy

The wisdom of being a client of yours

Terry-Bell's avatar
Icon for Advisely Partner rankAdvisely Partner
2 months ago

One of the key fundamentals for an advisory business – one that becomes and remains successful, anyway – is that the client has a good experience, each and every time.

What happens to a client when they are dealing with your practice? What do they experience? What makes you, as the practice principal/owner/adviser, satisfied that you are indeed delivering a great experience for each and every client?

We believe that for the client’s experience to be truly a good one, it needs to achieve three outcomes:

  1. It must be easy for the client to work with you

  2. Dealing with you must make them feel good

  3. The client must receive a successful outcome

Let's go through each one:

(How) easy to work with

How easy is it for clients to deal with your practice? Are you responsive to their queries? Do you have clearly-stipulated service standards which are promoted to clients and staff alike, for example? Are these standards comparable to other professional service providers they might be dealing with?

Do you offer your clients a choice in terms of how you communicate with them, such as offering soft and hard copies of documentation, for example? When scheduling meetings, are you flexible both in regards to timing and location (as well as in-person or virtual)?

Turning to implementation and ongoing management of their plan, are your clients able to access their details as and when they choose through a secure online portal provided by you? Do you retain records of their other important documents, such as wills and testamentary trusts? And if they need additional advice such as estate planning, tax and aged care, are you able to introduce them to other professionals you know and trust?

Feeling good

Do you know how your clients feel after interacting with your practice? Did they enjoy the experience, or did they feel that something was missing (and if a little extra was needed, what could it have been)?

Hairdressers offer clients a coffee or champagne on arrival, while dentists (mine, at least) have a music playlist I can choose from as he checks my teeth. Real estate agents reward neighbours who attend a local auction with a ticket into a draw to win a bottle of French champagne.

Upgrade offers to a "better" car, hotel room, travel or phone deal are commonplace. And so it goes. While these are in no way directly analogous to the role their financial planner plays, the fact is that the very same client is going through these experiences with other service providers. So maybe your clients are thinking, well, why not you? 

When clients interact with your business, is it with someone who knows their name, knows why they’re reaching out and who they’re going to meet? If they’re driving to an in-person meeting, has a parking space been offered? Does your CRM tell you that the client prefers a green tea to a latte? You get the drift. 

Of course, the simplest and most personal way to find out how your clients are feeling is to ask them. And yet our data shows that still only one in three advisers are actually doing this.

Within two weeks of a client coming onboard, meeting with their adviser or attending an event you organise, why not reach out to them for feedback, observations and suggestions? We also recommend that someone other than the adviser makes this call, as it provides another level of objectivity and impartiality to the feedback (while also reducing the level of adviser dependence).

Also, a bi-yearly satisfaction survey across your whole client base is a great way to tap into client sentiment. Confidential, anonymous and managed independently by an external third party are our preferred attributes. If the feedback can be benchmarked against the marketplace, even better. 

The successful outcome

Here's a simple question: has your relationship produced a result for the client? To be genuinely successful, the client must be deriving value from the relationship they have with you.

Are you saving them money or producing a better-than-benchmark investment performance? Have you identified weaknesses in their current financial structure which could turn into a problem down the line? Or are you removing the stress of managing financials by providing them with information, confidence and comfort?

These benefits should, of course, be quantified and reinforced at every opportunity – to remind your client of the wisdom of being a client of yours.

For your consideration.

Updated 2 months ago
Version 1.0
No CommentsBe the first to comment
Related Content