Are you a Financial Advisor without a Client Service Model?
by Tim Healy
You have no doubt read the articles listing the top reasons clients leave financial advisors. Those reasons include lack of communication, lack of understanding, and not making clients a priority, just to name a few.
Typically, the lack of clear, consistent communication and service are usually more of the reason for client departures than performance is. According to Financial Advisor Magazine, 45% of clients who leave advisors leave within the 1st two years. The top three reasons those clients left were service related.
Client service used to be a differentiator. It no longer is. It is a MUST. A great Client Service Model is one of the best ways to foster strong client relationships which is one of the last elements you can strongly influence and that sets you apart. So here is my question for you.
Do you have a Client Service Model? What is a Client Service Model?
Essentially, a Client Service Model should describe the experience your clients receive once they are on-boarded and while they remain a client year after year.
The Client Service Model can include offerings from: client reviews, quarterly performance reports, annual financial updates, client appreciation events, lunches, webinars, to supporting client causes, newsletters and birthday cards.
Here are some key questions you MUST answer as a financial advisor. How do you differentiate your level of service from an A client to a B to a C client? When a client is on-boarded, do you properly communicate what they can expect being a client of yours? Do you set the proper expectations from the beginning?
One of the key factors in managing a Client Service Model is consistency. Less is more. It is better to have less offerings but to make sure each client receives them consistently.
If you are going to take time offering client services, make sure they are worth the effort. Newsletters and birthday cards are ok, but how much of an impact are they having on your clients? You should ask yourself, “are we doing this for the sake of doing this, or does our client service model help create better communication with our clients and ultimately better long-lasting relationships?”
When was the last time you closely examined your Client Service Model? Given you are now operating in a Post-Covid economy and how you communicate with clients has no doubt changed, now is the perfect time to examine how you service your Book of Business.
My Tips for You
1st: You want to examine WHAT services you are offering.
2nd: Examine whether those services are providing a Bang for the Buck.
3rd: Are you offering them consistently?
4th: You should have at least 4 Touch Points with A/A+ clients each year. Those touch points can be reviews, lunches, phone calls or client appreciation events.
Start by examining the services you offer your Best A+ Clients. Write all of them down. Do the same for each tier in your Book of Business — As, Bs and Cs.
Then assess if these services are providing a real value to your clients. Do they appreciate them. Are they worth your time and effort? If your clients don’t appreciate them or find value then you should stop doing them.
Now is the time to be objective. Client Service Offerings are opportunities to offer value and connect with clients on a meaningful basis. They are a key factor on how your clients are experiencing YOU.