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Anne-Graham's avatar
Icon for Advisely Index Top 10 rankAdvisely Index Top 10
9 months ago

Efficient vs Effective

I'd love to hear the experts' views on Efficient vs Effective, please. I think we fall into the trap as business owners and advisers of focussing on efficiency at the expense of being effective. For instance, we can be super efficient at producing a review document  (as measured by time taken, quality, content etc.) but, if the client doesn't understand the advice or is not responsive to it then it probably isn't very effective. Another example could be onboarding new staff - contracts are ready, PD is agreed, introductions to the team are made and the checklist is complete however, the new team member might not understand what's expected of them and how they fit in. 

So, what tips do you have on achieving the holy grail of having an efficient process or system that is also super effective at achieving your goals?

peterworn Jessica-Lamb 


6 Replies

  • Jessica-Lamb's avatar
    Icon for Advisely Partner rankAdvisely Partner

    Great Question Anne-Graham  

    Achieving a harmonious balance between efficiency and effectiveness can be a pivotal element of business success. Here are some tips:

    1. Place your client at the forefront of your processes: This involves defining the client experience—what it looks like, how you engage with your client, the message you convey, and the most effective means for the client to understand and implement that message.

    2. Then build your efficiencies: Once this client-centric vision is established, the focus can then shift to building efficiencies that align with these objectives. Efficiency becomes the engine propelling you toward the desired effectiveness in client interactions. It is essential to view efficiencies as tools supporting your journey rather than the guiding force.

    3. Reassess and review: Over time, consistent reassessment and adjustment of strategies are crucial to preserving this equilibrium. Markets, client expectations, and business landscapes evolve, requiring a proactive approach to maintain alignment with your client experience goals.

    In essence, while efficiencies serve as the engine driving your business processes, the end goal remains the effectiveness you aim to achieve. Efficiencies are the means, not the driver; they play a supportive role in navigating toward the desired client-centric outcome.

  • peterworn's avatar
    Icon for Advisely Partner rankAdvisely Partner

    Thanks Anne-Graham and totally agree with Jessica-Lamb on the importance of putting the client at the centre of every process design. 

    Some other suggestions to add to this. 

    1. Feedback Loops: Regularly seek feedback from both clients and team members. Understanding their experiences and perceptions can provide invaluable insights into how effective our processes are.
    2. Continuous Improvement: Efficiency and effectiveness are not static; they evolve. Be open to revising and improving processes in light of new information or changing circumstances.
    3. Education and Training: Especially in the context of onboarding, ensure that there is an adequate focus on educating new team members about the company culture, expectations, and their role in the larger picture.
    4. Technology as an Enabler: Leverage technology not just for efficiency but also for enhancing effectiveness. This could mean using more intuitive software, incorporating visual aids in reports, or using AI to personalize client interactions.

    A lot of our clients are having great success with using 'Loom' to record training for staff and provide ongoing feedback. It gives managers the opportuntiy to provide context, humanise the feedback and most importantly show exactly the how and why. 

    • JoelRonchi's avatar
      Curious Observer

      Are there any obvious places peterworn in the workings of an advice practice where a simple, customised AI automation tool could help improve processes?

      For example:

      • lead quality filtration - advisers may have third parties referring clients to them but are they the 'ideal' client for the firm?  Could a customised AI tool enable the referer to check if the client is suitable and (if so) the bot then initiates the referral process?
      • customer onboarding - once advice is implemented, could a customised AI tool enable the client to be walked through an onboarding process, and provide them with all the relevant information they need, including videos etc ... or is the realm of client portals?
      • ongoing services - if a client signs up for an OSA or even a 12-month contract, would there be value in creating a customised AI bot that engages the client through the "service level agreement' the client has signed up to?  This ensures they remain a long-term client and is a sustainable system for advisers and their teams so they don’t burn out or have costs blow out as they grow 
      • staff training - using a customised internal AI tool to walk staff through a training sequence or allowing them ad hoc access to information at their fingertips.  Granted the information can likely be found online etc however the advantage of customised AI tools is the ability to curate and filter information in a way that suits the advice firm.

      As with everything, I don't think AI is the silver bullet but rather one tool in an armory of tools.

      As you mentioned, LOOM is great and humanises the experience although it can take time to create the videos etc 

      I'm keen to hear thoughts and opinions at this stage of AI development to see how the industry might be interested in utilising the capabilities it offers.

      • peterworn's avatar
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        Hi Joel, we are still thinking of the low-hanging fruit for AI. As with any emerging technology sometimes the use cases that win are not always apparent early on. 

        We prefer to think of AI features within your existing software rather than stand-alone AI or automation solutions. We are already seeing 'AI features' coming through a number of SaaS products such as Canva, Microsoft, Salesforce, Zoho and many other productivity solutions.

        Your first example for lead filtration - I know Calendly are experimenting with this type of feature to improve quality and conversion. 

        I do believe Customer Onboarding will be the domain of the client portal and in time they will have features which speed this up for clients and perhaps using AI features to improve information gathering. 

        Staff training is definitely a key one. And contextual AI will help staff get the help they want when they need it. It is still early days, but firms will likely have their own versions of GPT, which will help guide employees through key processes. 

  • Anne-Graham's avatar
    Icon for Advisely Index Top 10 rankAdvisely Index Top 10

    They're terrific suggestions peterworn and really helpful. We use loom in our business for recording "how tos" for internal training which is really effective. Thanks for your answers.