4 Steps to a Great Client Experience
Delivering an exceptional client experience is a key differentiator for advisory firms and a major part of building client trust. According to Shep Hyken research, 83% of customers trust brands or businesses more when they deliver excellent customer experience. And today’s clients are looking for more than just sound financial advice and strategy.
They want help protecting and growing their wealth, and they need to believe that you will help them secure the financial future they desire. A great client experience significantly contributes to creating that confidence and peace of mind. If their experience working with you leaves them feeling unsure, unappreciated, or unsatisfied, they will likely lose confidence in your abilities.
The Importance of Great Client Experience
Every interaction with you and your firm will shape your clients’ overall satisfaction. And it goes deeper than just the service you give them.
We’ve already mentioned client experience as something that builds trust, a vital part of the advisor/client relationship. There are so many benefits that go hand-in-hand, including loyalty to your firm, higher levels of client engagement, and increased client acquisition – after all, an exceptional client experience should start right from the first interaction prospects have with you, even before they sign up.
All of these are vital in driving growth and increasing revenue. You could say the future of your firm depends on the client experience you offer!
We’ve put together the top four steps financial advisors can take to ensure they deliver the best possible client experience.
1. Understand Your Client Base
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to what constitutes great client experience; a lot will depend on your clients themselves, which is why understanding their goals and motivators is key. The experience you deliver needs to support their individual journeys, so consider what they value most from your relationship.
How are their portfolios made up? How knowledgeable are they about investment strategies, and how much input do they expect to have in the process? What are their expectations around the client/advisor relationship, and what levels of personalization do they expect? For example, a Qualtrics financial advisor client experience report shared that wealthy clients (with portfolios over $300K) are most disappointed by failings in their advisors’ investment track record and personal service.
2. Identify Client Touchpoints
Once you’re confident you know who you’re designing your client experience for, you can start to look at all the situations through which you’ll be delivering it. Start right from the beginning, even before that first meeting. When your ideal client starts the process of looking for an advisor, where will they look and how will they find you?
Next, focus on the initial introduction, the onboarding process, and getting to know everything about them and their financial life before you start to create a financial plan. Once they’re an established client, think of all of the interactions they’ll have with your firm, from regular reviews to ad hoc meetings regarding one-off life events.
The more successfully you can anticipate your clients’ needs before they even realize they have them, the better the client experience becomes.
3. Define What Makes the Experience Great
What makes a great client experience will probably be different depending on your clients and the various touchpoints. It could be how the client feels going away from the interaction – do they feel heard and understood and confident they’re in the best hands, for example?
The experience you deliver at each touchpoint should match what’s important to your clients and must be consistent. It’s no good if client experience is great 75% of the time but falls down in some way 25% of the time. It’s sad to say, but many clients are more likely to remember that 25%! Make sure you do what needs to be done to offer a consistently outstanding experience, whether that’s outsourcing non client-facing tasks to free up your time, training up more team members on certain processes, or something else.
4. Leverage the Tools That Let You Deliver
With technology giving advisors the support needed to streamline and improve processes as well as find more time for relationship-building activities, there are plenty of valuable tools that help improve the client experience.
By making the most of the possibilities technology opens up, you can better connect with your clients and be in a stronger position to identify issues and opportunities around client experience. Your clients expect nothing less than innovative, personalized, client-centric experiences, and advisors that can’t provide that will soon be passed over for those that can.
Unloading some of your back-office and investment management responsibilities to CG Advisor Network gives you the time you need to focus on client-facing activities, and you’ll even have access to client experience strategies and workflows.
ACA Study: Achieving Customer Amazement. (n.d.). Shep Hyken https://hyken.com/research/
The Financial Advisor Client Experience Report. (n.d.). Qualtrics. https://www.qualtrics.com/customer-experience/financial-advisor-report/
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