Clients want exceptional service from their financial advisor.

Exceeding Client Expectations

December 15, 2017

LPL Financial

As consumers demand more from their financial advisors, how do you grow your business while still offering personalized client service? The right approach, resources and service model can allow you to cater to individual investor needs and creating an exceptional client experience.

It’s time to rethink customer service, and to find ways to meet evolving client demands that also help you grow your practice.

The Growing Demand for Exceptional Service

Clients today are increasingly looking for access to information, with transactions and relationships with advisors that are more transparent, instantaneous, simple, and hands on.

Additionally, they want those experiences—along with the core financial expertise and guidance you provide—integrated into customized services, interactions, and planning.

It’s time to rethink customer service, and find ways to meet evolving client demands. However, advisors may not be able to afford to spend more time with each individual client. They need to be able to balance a personalized client experience with scaling their business to accommodate more volume. Find in-depth guidance by downloading the white paper, The Art & Science of Scaling.

Exceptional client service today goes beyond investment performance. Clients and prospects want an advisor who not only understands them, but anticipates their needs, preferences, and goals at their various life stages.

Are you set up to give them what they want?

Follow these guidelines to help you tailor your service offerings to create a customized experience for clients and prospects.

Listen and Learn

To meet client needs and expectations, it’s important to get to know them both professionally and personally. From an advisory sense, what are their short and long-term goals? How do they prefer to communicate (e.g., through Skype, email, etc.) and how often do they expect to hear from you?

How comfortable are they with the technology and the platform you’re using? Are they able to get real-time access and how deeply do they want to understand their investments and options?

Also get to know them on a personal level. What are their interests? What’s important to them now and long-term? Taking a genuine interest in their lives, their family, and major life events (weddings, anniversaries, travel plans, etc) shows you care to pay attention to what is important to them.

Capture this information in a system that is regularly updated to stay current with your client’s evolving lifestyle and stages. Ensure that your whole team is plugged into “customized plans” for your clients, particularly as you grow your business and hire more people.

Create a Communications Plan

Use the information you’ve gathered to proactively reach them through the channels they prefer and with the content they desire, such as blog posts, emails, social media, and phone calls. Mine the resources of your partner firm for guidance, compliance-approved content, and service support.

Choose your content based on how much information you think they want and need, and what will provide them the most value. Some may want to thoroughly understand their investment products and process and to keep up with market conditions and investment options so they are empowered to make informed decisions quickly. Others may prefer a high-level overview.

Leverage Technology

As technology continues to evolve, consider what’s available to you and your clients to help create a customized experience. For example, advisor-driven digital advice platforms can give them the transparent, hands-on, and instantaneous access to account information they seek.

Tap into the technology and consultative services of your partner firm to discover what else might be available within the platforms you use to help you further meet your clients’ expectations for service.

Get Support

Technology can help you streamline your business, but being more personal often requires more people – especially as you grow. Part of scaling is determining where you can hire or offload parts of your business that may be hindering you from building and strengthening client relationships.

Whether you choose to hire or outsource, it’s important that the people who become a part of your business understand the value of personalization.  One negative experience or interaction has the potential to seriously impact your business relationships and your reputation.

Raise the Bar

A thoughtful and personalized approach to customer service can help you establish a deeper level of trust and partnership necessary to sustain a long-term relationship—as well as increase the likelihood of referrals. On the flip side, prospective—or even current—clients are may go elsewhere if they have a bad experience.

Spend some time thinking about the customer service your firm offers now, and how you can go above and beyond that to meet the desires of clients and prospects today.

For more information, download, The Art & Science of Scaling.