Providing outstanding client service is crucial for any financial advisor. If the client is happy, so is the advisor. Yet few advisors realize they are in a service industry and even fewer are committed to always doing the right thing for their clients. So how do you know what’s best for your clients? The answer is simple: ask them.
Asking your clients what they want from you, as their advisor, is the most important step to providing an unmatched client experience. There are many ways to reach out and generate meaningful feedback, but today we’ll cover two of what I believe are the most effective methods.
One technique is implementing a client advisory council, consisting of a handful of your best and most loyal clients to serve on a board that meets periodically to candidly discuss what they want out of their client experience. A simpler method is to administer client surveys to all of your clients.
Both ways can be effective, but the structure of your firm will determine which is right for you.
The Best Option for Large Firms
Client advisory boards are usually more effective than client surveys, with the exception for large firms. In the case of organizations with a large client base, taking a small sample to make up your client advisory board might not be a big enough percentage to represent the entire book of clients. In this case, administering a client survey can be more effective in order to poll a larger population of your clients and gain a better understanding of how your clients feel.
However, most surveys are structured in a way that makes it difficult for the response data to be useful. For example, if you ask your clients to rate the responsiveness of your firm and earn a low rating, it is impossible to know what that low rating truly means. Are they referring to your responsiveness as the senior advisor, a different advisor or the firm as a whole? Survey questions are usually not the most detailed, making the resulting data hard to analyze. Advisors often use a pre-made survey template and don’t carefully consider the questions they are asking, rendering the answers worthless.