What constitutes a “good” customer experience as we know it has changed. Service is no longer about simply fulfilling a basic need, it’s about the personalized interactions that occur along the way to fulfilling that need.
Take a look at Nike’s website, as one example. If I go to Nike right now to buy a new pair of shoes, I can pick out the laces I want, the colors of the shoe, the type of padding—it’s all in my control and it’s all unique to me.
What personalization does is it creates a better customer experience, because it pulls the focus away from the company and puts it where it belongs, which is on the customer and what they want. A personalized customer experience makes people feel seen and valued.
When serving clients as a financial advisor, you have to personalize the services and solutions you offer. It all begins with an understanding of what your clients need from you.
The Right Value at the Right Time
Before you can communicate the right message to your clients and prospects, you first have to begin by understanding where an individual is in relation to knowing your firm and what you can do for them.
Put simply, the conversation you have with a new prospect will be much different than a conversation you have with a client of ten years. How that conversation develops will determine your success rate of turning interested prospects into client advocates.
As you communicate your value, think about talking to investors as if they are a prospect, a lead, a client, or an advocate.
Your message each step of the way will be different, but it will likely follow a similar progression to the below:
- At your first interaction, you need to educate, not sell; help prospective clients understand how you help them, above all else.
- Once you’ve garnered someone’s interest, they’ll look at what everyone else says about you — anything from your social media to word of mouth sites like Google reviews and Facebook; even when someone isn’t directly engaged with you, your message across your digital presence should consistently point back to how you can help with the problems they are looking to solve.
- Once someone who’s interested has decided that you can help with the problem they’re experiencing, the next step will be personal interaction. Almost everyone will ask a simple question: How will what you provide help me, protect me, or make my life easier? (You’ll never stop answering this questions; if you answer it well enough and often enough, you’ll have an opportunity to turn your clients into advocates for what you’ve done for them.)
Through all of your communication, the way in which you personalize your service to where an individual is in their journey with your firm will make all the difference.
Let me explain what personalized service looks like with an example from my own life.
I’ve always been a dog lover, and I want to give the best to mine; they are a part of my family. A few years ago, I decided that providing the best included giving my dog the best food I could find. So, I signed up with a dog food company to have recurring shipments sent to me.
When I first signed up, the company sent me a handwritten thank you note that said they appreciated the trust I was putting in them. That was a great first interaction. It was a nice, personalized gesture and it won them some goodwill with me.
But the real personalized experience that made a lasting impression and turned me into an advocate of this dog food company came later.