Beyond the rate

Why should financial advisors focus on offering an amazing customer experience?

One of the core values we hold dear at Home Trust is to “amaze them every time.” It governs the way we work together and provides a guiding light for the service we provide to our customers. A large number of CEOs for banking, insurance, and fintech companies — 79% of those polled, to be precise — believe that customer expectations are shaped by the experiences they encounter across the industry. That means a customer doesn’t just judge their experience on the service you provide; they measure you against their experience with every financial service provider they encounter.

79% of FI CEOs believe experiences across the entire industry shape customer expectations

Though many financial advisors are not concerned by the rise of the online advisor, there are reasons why investors, and particularly the younger ones, are drawn to this approach. By understanding the appeal of the “hands-off” investment approach, financial advisors can set themselves apart in the marketplace, and deliver an excellent customer experience including highly personalized advice to clients.

Of course, you know better than anyone what might work best for your clients, but here are some thought-starters to help you deliver an excellent experience for your clients.

39% of clients cite personalized service as their reason for selecting their advisor

Focus on personalized service

Personalized service is more than making sure you deliver financial documents on time and taking care to have your client’s info on hand before picking up the phone — though those are important notes too! Consider what we are learning during the period of physical distancing due to COVID-19. Yes, real-time discussions are valuable, and even required sometimes. But part of delivering personalized service is knowing which clients like to have an in-person discussion, and which ones prefer to have an email exchange whenever possible to get things done.

Personalized service also means knowing when a significant life event has occurred and making sound financial recommendations based on that knowledge.  If you’re wondering just how important it is to ensure your customer experience is tailored to the client, consider the findings of a recent Qualtrics survey of financial advisor clients. Their research found that 39% ranked personalized service as their reason for selecting their advisor, a result that was nearly on par with having a good investment track record!

Ask for feedback

It’s hard to know how your clients feel about the service you provide unless you ask. Though there are sophisticated tools you can use to collect and analyze client feedback, it needn’t be such an elaborate process. Low-stakes ways to ask for feedback can include an invite in your email signature for clients to leave reviews on Google, or offering an immediate way to provide feedback, like the yes/no question that was included in the footer of the email we sent to you about this post.

Understanding the needs of your clients and then aligning your business strategy to those needs is a crucial element of delivering an exceptional client experience. As noted in this Forbes article, asking your clients for feedback helps in three important ways: it helps you to learn what your clients do, and more importantly, don’t like, it helps your clients feel that their input is important, and it helps to set you on a path for continuous improvement. Gathering this feedback can help you amaze your clients every time.

Turn to technology for support

As a financial advisor, you know your days are busy, but it’s important to remember that your clients are busy too. The personalized service you can provide is a key differentiator between a financial advisor and an online investment tool, but that personal interaction can take on many different forms. Remember, as we shared in an earlier post, there are many online tools available to help you manage your business, while taking care of your clients’ financial needs.

Stay tuned for the next edition of Beyond the Rate, where we’ll help you learn more about the tools that you can use to help deliver a memorable experience for your customers.

The information, materials and opinions contained in this Blog are provided for your information only. This Blog does not constitute legal, financial or other professional advice and you should not rely on it as an alternative to specific advice based on your particular circumstance. This Blog contains links to third party websites. These links are provided for information and convenience; Home Trust does not endorse the content of any third party website, and it makes no representation or warranty as to the information on such third party sites. By clicking on any link to a third party site, you leave the Home Trust website and do so at your own risk. Home Trust disclaims all liability for any damage or loss that results from your access to or reliance on information contained in this Blog or any third party site.

We welcome your thoughts on this blog feature. Please email your comments to beyondtherate@hometrust.ca

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