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Practice Management > Building Your Business

Client Service: Focus, Contact, Respect

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One of the benefits of being an independent advisor is that you get to fashion your processes and service offerings according to your particular point of view. In other words, where a large firm already has their processes established, the independent advisor has a clean slate and can cull the best practices from a variety of different resources.

I believe that creating a scalable business model is paramount to a successful long-term enterprise. If for some reason I need to be absent from the business, even if it’s for a vacation, there should be no dropoff in client service. So every process I create must be centered on one thing, the client. Inefficient processes were one of my frustrations when working for a large company. Many times these well-intentioned ‘hoops’ were time wasters or impediments to doing business. Here is one efficient client process I am implementing.

When you go to the dentist office, what’s the last thing you do before you leave? You fill out a post card with the date of your next appointment. I don’t use a postcard, but I do schedule the next appointment before the client leaves.

Last week I had a client in my office for a review of his account. He said he had been frustrated with his previous advisor because the only time they talked was when he (the client) called the advisor. Lack of contact is something a client should never experience. If the advisor doesn’t have enough time to contact the client, they shouldn’t be surprised if they lose them to another advisor.

In our business, each client is your employer. Let’s say you work for a large company. How would you treat the CEO if he or she walked into the room and started a conversation with you? Would you put them off? Absolutely not! You would give them your undivided attention and hopefully make them feel they are the most important person to you at the moment. You would listen intently.

If you treat clients with great respect, you’ll not only have long-term clients, but you’ll receive a number of referrals as well.