Just how important is customer experience in the wake of COVID-19?
Consider these fascinating facts from a 2020 survey:
- 86% of buyers will pay more to receive stellar customer service
- 32% of buyers will switch brands after a single bad experience
- 80% of businesses now offer omnichannel customer support
- 57% of users won’t recommend a poorly designed business website
The truth is clear: Customer satisfaction is going to be the deciding factor between businesses that survive, thrive, or shut their doors in 2021.
As a financial advisor, you can’t afford to provide anything less than amazing service and value to your clients. After all, they’re entrusting you with their most valuable assets and counting on you to help them achieve their long-term goals.
How can you improve client satisfaction and ensure your clients remain loyal to you for the long haul? In this post, we’ll provide actionable tips you can start using today to improve financial advising client satisfaction.
The secrets to happy clients lie just ahead, so keep reading to learn more!
How to Improve Client Satisfaction: 6 Tips
When you work with a marketing coach, one of the main areas of focus is improving client satisfaction. Here’s a roundup of expert financial advisor tips to help you do just that.
1. Start With a Client Satisfaction Survey
The most obvious way to gauge client satisfaction is to reach out and ask them directly. Rather than relying on social media comments or casual conversation during a meeting, make it a point to send a well-thought-out survey via email or letter.
Some questions you could ask include:
- What do you value most in an advisor-client relationship?
- What do you appreciate most about working with our company?
- Are you happy with the type and amount of communication you receive from us?
- Are there any aspects of our current service level that you dislike?
- What could we do to improve and increase your satisfaction with our services?
The answers you receive will provide a deeper insight into what your clients are thinking. They may not feel comfortable voicing a concern in-person, but they may be willing to express their true feelings in a survey.
Carefully consider all feedback you receive. It’s vital to understand not only what your clients like but what they dislike about working with you. Use this insight to form a continuous improvement plan that will improve client satisfaction over time.
2. Seek a Deeper Understanding of Client Dreams & Goals
We all get caught up in a cycle of writing emails, developing marketing plans, and preparing for meetings. With so many tasks on your daily to-do list, it’s easy to overlook the fundamentals of the advisor-client relationship.
No matter how skilled you are at investing, nothing can replace a deep understanding of what’s most important to your client. Only when you have a solid grasp of their hopes and desires can you help them turn those dreams into realities.
To help you dive deeper, here are some sample questions you could ask:
- Twenty years from now, you wake up on a Monday morning. What will you be doing today?
- What worries or concerns keep you awake at night?
- What motivates and excites you the most?
- What would you be doing right now if money wasn’t a concern and you didn’t have to go to work?
- If you won $50 million today, what would you do with it?
- If you learned you only had six months left to live, how would you spend your remaining time?
Ask these questions in your next client meeting or, if you prefer, send them in an email or letter. Based on the responses you receive, you can tailor your approach to better meet their unique goals.
3. Pay Attention to Detail
It’s natural to be excited and curious about new clients. Communication flows freely as you learn about each other and discuss some of the questions listed above.
But what happens as time passes? What about clients you’ve already retained for a few years (or longer)? How can you reassure them that you care about them as a person and not just another name on a list?
In your notes or CRM software, be sure to include relevant details beyond the client’s financial status. For example, can you record your client’s birthday and wedding anniversary? What about the names of their children, grandchildren, and pets?
What hobbies or interests are they passionate about? Do they enjoy sailing? Tennis? Horse racing? Are they working on a research project or planning a major trip overseas?
Even something as seemingly minor as remembering their favorite coffee (and having it waiting for them) can make a huge difference in client satisfaction. When they realize that your services are tailored just for them, they’re almost certain to remain happy and loyal.
4. Improve the Quality & Frequency of Your Communication
An annual check-in is hardly enough to stay on top of what’s happening in your client’s life, especially in a year as turbulent as 2020. Every one of your clients has likely experienced business disruptions or major life changes as a result of the pandemic.
This makes regular and meaningful communication more important than ever before.
Nothing is “normal” anymore. What worked in 2019 may not be the best option for 2021. And your clients’ needs and goals may have completely shifted this year, meaning you need to rethink your investment strategies.
The more frequently you check in with your clients, the more confident they’ll feel with their financial status and plan. In addition to that annual meetup, check in with each client quarterly or even monthly. Schedule a video chat or even an old-fashioned phone call and focus on showing personal interest.
How is your client (and their family) coping with all the upheaval this year? Have they had any changes in their personal or professional life that could affect their financial goals? What can you do to help them stay on track and feel less stressed about the future?
If you haven’t already, adopt an open-door policy. Assure your clients you’re always available to listen to their concerns and take a fresh look at their finances.
5. Provide More Information & Transparency
Gone are the days when clients simply handed over their assets and trusted their financial advisor to make good decisions. Today’s clients expect to be kept “in the loop” about every aspect of their financial status.
Transparency and accountability are essential if you want to improve client satisfaction and retain them for years to come. Use the latest reporting technology to your advantage. If necessary, educate your clients on how to use their portal and access real-time information about their investments.
Speaking of education, you may also need to explain the various investment options that are available to your clients. A client may assume that some private markets are out of their reach because he’s not an ultra-high-net-worth investor, but that’s not necessarily true. Others may need help understanding different types of investments — for example, the pros and cons of investing or gold or Bitcoin.
Share relevant educational content with your clients. Give them a behind-the-scenes look at the technology tools you use. Your clients should always feel like they’re taking an active part in reaching their goals.
6. Adopt a Holistic Approach to Financial Wellness
The most successful companies today don’t just sell a product or a service. They sell a lifestyle.
If clothing brands and food delivery services are adopting a holistic approach to marketing, how much more important is this concept to financial advisors? If all you do is focus on investments and products that will earn you money, you’re missing the things that matter most to your clients.
Rather than focusing only on retirement goals, offer guidance about how your client can grow his business. Provide practical advice about controlling spending and minimizing credit card debt. On your website and social media channels, you can also offer tips for improving marriage or family life — especially since so many couples argue about money.
As a financial advisor, you’re more than a wealth manager. You should also become a financial coach that your clients can rely on throughout their lifetime.
The Best Financial Advising Tips (And More)
Happy clients are the goal of every business owner, but it’s absolutely essential for financial advisors.
After all, you’re not just providing a basic product or service. Your clients are trusting you to help them reach their loftiest financial goals, from sending their kids to a great college to retiring on a Mediterranean yacht.
Whatever your clients’ personal goals, it’s your job to pave their way to financial success. The tips listed above will not only help you to improve client satisfaction but also boost your client retention rates. Learn to look beyond the numbers and make personal connections with your clients, and the satisfaction is sure to follow.
Would you like to learn more about financial advisor-client satisfaction? Would you like innovative financial advisor tips and tricks to grow your business in 2021 and beyond?
We’re here to help you with all your marketing needs. Call us at 303-808-8719 or use our contact form to request your free business evaluation.