The more standardized each process, the easier it is to customize to the client wishes
The first part of our post focused on the difference between process inputs and outcomes, using Starbucks as an example. We’ll now turn to customization versus standardization in financial planning.
In the financial planning world, there’s long been a great deal of pushback on standardization, built upon the belief that since every client is unique like a snowflake, it’s impossible to accomplish. Yet as I’ve written in the past, it’s really about standardizing the deliverables and the process, not the plan recommendations and outcomes; in fact, a recent white paper by Fox Financial Planning Network makes the point that developing a “Starbucks” client experience is the key to sustainability, profitability and growth, built around the advisor CRM as a hub for not just client information and data but workflows and automation.
Perhaps even more important is that if the process that goes into planning with every client is different, there’s simply no way to ensure a consistent financial planning experience, which also means there’s no way to ensure it’s consistently good or to reliably improve it over time.