For financial advisors—as in most businesses—it’s easier to generate additional business with existing clients than to go out prospecting and cultivating new relationships. That holds true if your client is already satisfied with how you’re serving them and, as a result, agrees to entrust you with even more business. But the reverse also holds true: if your clients are not happy, you may lose them.
This raises an essential question: What are satisfied clients receiving from their advisors that the unhappy ones are not—and how can you solidify these relationships to endure over time and generate client referrals?
At ByAllAccounts, we recently conducted a national survey with nearly 200 affluent and high-net-worth investors to determine what was important to them in an investor-advisor relationship, why they’d consider firing an advisor, and what an advisor could do to build and maintain their loyalty.
The results revealed that advisors need to focus on three essential strategies in order to keep the idea of termination from ever crossing their clients’ minds.
What Your Peers Are Reading
Strategy No. 1: Add new capabilities to your service offering, because investors want more than just money management
Does your firm offer performance reporting on both managed and self-directed accounts, investment advice on retirement accounts, 24/7 monitoring of all assets and support for tax and legal issues? Do you have the internal capabilities to deliver such services? Or have you looked into forming strategic alliances with other professionals and service providers in the industry who could partner with you to provide these services?
As revealed in the survey, these services are important to many investors—and more often than not, if investors are not currently receiving the services, they wish that they were. That’s why it’s so important to diversify your service offering to meet an ever-expanding array of client needs. As a case in point, take a look at the results in the first chart, and you’ll see that advisors who have a 0% chance of termination are providing higher, more varied service levels than their counterparts across the board.
One advisory firm that comes to mind when discussing diversity of services—and an overall high level of client service and satisfaction—is SignatureFD, an Atlanta-based wealth management RIA with more than $1.2 billion in AUM. When I spoke to Liz Goodrow, the firm’s Senior Client Care Associate, about SignatureFD’s service offering, she stated quite simply that the firms has added services to “directly serve the needs of our clients and to help them live confidently, fully and purposefully. We believe these additional capabilities are critical for client satisfaction and the long-term retention and success of relationships.”
Of course, a comprehensive service offering is just the first of the three strategies that we’re citing here. As you’ll see, the next two strategies are equally important—both from a client service viewpoint and as standalone best practices.