How to Personalize the Client Experience

May 25, 2023 | Practice Management

client experience

According to a study published by the CFA Institute, lack of communication is the number two reason clients leave their financial advisor, right behind underperformance.1 So, the question becomes: “how do we personalize the client experience?”

As an advisor, it’s important to create a unique and memorable experience for each client that is tailored to their needs and preferences. Doing so will help you build a strong relationship, which in turn will lead to better results for both you and your client.

We compiled 3 key strategies for creating a positive client experience: defining your niche, involving your clients, and mapping out the client journey. We will discuss how these strategies can help financial advisors create an environment of trust and client satisfaction.

Define your Niche

When defining your niche, it’s important to consider who you are trying to reach. What type of clients do you want to attract? According to Julia Littlechild, founder and CEO at Absolute Engagement, defining an authentic niche is key to providing an exceptional client experience.

A great way to stand out in the financial services industry is by being an expert in a specific demographic. For example, if your niche is physicians, the longer you work with them the more insight you will have into effectively communicating with them. With this specialized knowledge, you can create lasting connections and help your clients reach their goals faster.

By creating a niche, you will be able to focus on the needs of a specific group of people, understand their challenges, how they think, and what solutions they need to meet their financial goals.

Actively Involve your Clients

When trying to create an extraordinary client experience, who better to ask for input, than the client themselves? Littlechild suggests asking clients to “describe the experience that has had the greatest impact and to define the value you deliver”.1

This same concept can be applied to many successful brands. For example, Uber is applauded for its customer experience. After every ride is complete, an in-app survey appears on the screen for both parties involved. Customers can rate their experience and drivers can rate their customers.

By giving customers and drivers the chance to provide feedback after every ride, it is possible to measure customer satisfaction levels and make changes accordingly. As such, this feedback loop can help brands stay ahead of the competition by providing superior service.

To implement a feedback loop with clients, advisors can use a platform like Paperform to create a templated survey. The survey can be customized to include questions about the client experience, the value they received from the advisor’s services, and suggestions for improvement. Once the survey is created, advisors can include a link to it in their email signature and in frequent emails to their clients, inviting them to click and provide feedback.

By regularly soliciting feedback from clients, advisors can stay on top of their clients’ needs and preferences, identify areas for improvement, and ultimately deliver a more personalized and exceptional client experience. This feedback loop can help financial services firms differentiate themselves from their competitors and build long-lasting relationships with their clients.

The financial services industry is constantly evolving, and the use of this method can be highly beneficial in creating a better client experience. By allowing clients to share their experiences with their advisors, firms can gain insights into their clients’ needs and preferences. This information can then be used to increase client satisfaction and provide better advice tailored to an individual’s needs.  

Map Out the Client Journey

The client journey represents the lifecycle of your clients’ evolving needs over time as they interact with your firm. The journey sometimes starts before your potential clients are even aware they need your services. Littlechild suggests: “Create a client journey map that outlines the specific stages your clients go through, from the point at which they realized they needed help through working with you and your team.”3 By understanding how your clients interact with you in different stages of the process, you can create a better experience.

There are 5 main stages to the client journey: Introduction, Initial Contact, Onboarding, Plan Development, and Ongoing Reviews.

Introduction: This stage is when a prospect first becomes aware of your practice and is the first step in forming an ongoing relationship with them. That means it’s essential to get this stage right, by sending out a message that accurately portrays what the experience will be like if they choose to become a client. You’ll want your website and marketing efforts to be consistent.

Initial Contact: According to Littlechild, the goal of this step is to make a potential customer feel welcomed and encouraged to move on to the next stage. It’s all about setting yourself apart from the competition by providing unique and valuable information in a way that is both engaging and informative.

Onboarding: By taking the time to properly onboard new clients, you can help ensure that they are well-informed and comfortable working with you. When done correctly, onboarding can help build trust and loyalty between you and your new client, while also helping them understand how your services will benefit them.

Plan Development: This is an important phase in the client-advisor relationship. It allows the advisor to fully understand the client’s needs and objectives to develop a plan that will help them achieve their goals.

Ongoing Reviews: Review meetings with clients are a crucial part of the client relationship. Littlechild states: “It’s important to actively engage the client in this process, giving them an opportunity to contribute in meaningful ways”.3 The review meetings should focus on the progress made, challenges faced, and objectives achieved. It is important to discuss any changes or adjustments that need to be made in order to reach their financial goals. By having these ongoing review meetings, you can ensure that your client is satisfied.

One Step Ahead of the Competition

In today’s driven financial services environment, advisors need to find ways to stand out from their competitors. Developing a niche, actively involving your clients, and mapping out the client journey will help firms differentiate themselves and build stronger connections with their clients.

Implementing these strategies can help advisors establish a solid foundation for a successful practice.

1  CFA Institute, Enhancing Investors Trust Report (2022).
2 Absolute Engagement, The 6 Biggest Client Experience Mistakes Advisors Make (2022).
3 Absolute Engagement, What is a Client Journey Map and Why You Should Care.

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