As advisors strive to deliver excellent service and create deeper relationships, it’s important to understand how investors think about money, what they expect out of an advisor relationship and in what aspects advisors fall short.
Yet identifying what it takes to deliver an outstanding experience sometimes can feel like a moving target. After all, clients’ needs change and new technologies can create new expectations.
To find the answers, TD Ameritrade Institutional recently surveyed more than 1,000 high-net-worth investors who work with an advisor to learn about the quality of the experience they have as clients.
What we discovered was that few advisors possessed a deep understanding of their clients’ expectations outside typical investing and planning services. Less than half collect feedback from clients; even fewer work to understand what specifically drives higher client satisfaction. Advisors say they are puzzled when clients claim to be ‘satisfied’ with their advisor but don’t attend annual review meetings or generate referrals.
Based on these findings, we are telling advisors there are four major opportunities to more fully engage their best clients, enhance the client experience and turn customers into advocates:
1) Oline brand management
2) Continuing education
3) Review meetings
4) Customer appreciation.
Step 1: Manage Your Online Brand
When it comes to brand management, we found most advisors are falling short with regard to promoting their name and brand online. Only a third of investors, for example, agreed that they were able to find meaningful information about their advisor online before reaching out to make first contact.
Think of the lost opportunities. Most investors first learn about their financial advisor from a family member, friend or other trusted individual. Yet even a warm referral can quickly turn cold if an advisor doesn’t have a compelling brand presence online or, worse, little presence at all.
We suggest that advisors Google themselves and then determine the answers to these questions: Am I easy to find online? Is my firm easy to find online? Is the information that’s available representative of who I am and what my firm stands for? Is this information compelling to my ideal client? Can prospects easily locate my contact information?
By doing so, advisors can begin the work of enhancing their online presence so that it’s easier for prospects to learn more about their firms and the client experience they can deliver.