5 Ways Client Engagement Will Be Different in The Future

5 Ways Client Engagement Will Be Different in The Future

As an industry, we love to focus on “best practices”. We examine the strategies and tactics of the most successful advisors and ask how we can replicate those in our own businesses.

  • The upside? Best practices focus us on what’s working today.
  • The downside? Best practices don’t focus us on how things might be changing in future.

It’s fair to say that our collective goal isn’t just to keep pace, but to stay ahead of the curve.

And if that’s the case, don’t we need to focus squarely on the trends that will shape our future? Instead of thinking about best practices, don’t we need to: think outside the proverbial box, look at how other industries are innovating and ask how that might impact the future of our own industry?

In fairness, we do a good job of this when it comes to things like technology, perhaps because we expect it to play a disruptive force. But what if other aspects of our business – like the way we engage with clients – is also being disrupted? Don’t we owe it to ourselves to consider the future and ask how it will impact the core of what we do?

The Big Five

To understand how client engagement is being disrupted we draw on our own on-going investor and advisor research. As (or more) importantly we look outside the industry at case studies of (and research into) innovation in client engagement. We’ve identified the five ways in which client engagement is changing and in ways that will impact you, your clients and your business in future.

1. Client satisfaction is no longer enough.

I’ve shared research more than once that highlights the low bar you set if client satisfaction and loyalty are your only goals. The reality is that clients are both satisfied and loyal. Achieving either (or both) makes you just as good as everyone else. In the future, we’ll need to find new metrics to measure success.

If that’s the case, how do we measure success?

2. Client engagement is the new client satisfaction.

When we create a deeper and more enduring relationship with clients we create a meaningful bond. While great service can drive satisfaction, driving deeper engagement means playing a qualitatively different role in the lives of your clients. Engaged clients see their advisor as providing leadership in areas that extend beyond investments. In the future we’ll need to find ways to proactively demonstrate leadership in the lives of our best clients to add value.

If that’s the case, how do we create true value?

Related: Advisors: Why Delivering Great Service Just Isn’t Enough

3. Value will not be provided, but co-created.

While we often focus on the traits of effective leaders, leadership is really a two-way street. In the past value was firm-centric – you decided what you were offering and hoped it sold. It has since morphed to become client-centric, with clients influencing what is offered. We believe that, in the future, the client experience will be actively co-created between advisor and client. In the future, your clients will play a bigger role in defining the experience.

If that’s the case, how do we co-create value when the needs of clients differ?

4. Cater to the needs of everyone and you cater to the needs of no one.

In order to fully connect with clients, we need to focus our attention on a more defined target. We cannot be all things to all people so your client experience will need to reflect the unique needs of your ideal clients. In the future, advisors will need to build a client experience around a more narrowly defined target or offer.

If that’s the case, how can we operate efficiently?

5. ‘Predictable’ and ‘consistent’ are so last year.

In an effort to deliver a great client experience the industry moved toward the notion that we need to standardize processes to provide a strong and repeatable offer. While it’s clear that we cannot re-invent the wheel for every client, personalization and connection are the watchwords for the future. Our challenge is to determine how we can create a personalized experience efficiently, drawing on what we know about what is important to our clients and using technology effectively.

If that’s the case, how do we take action?

Julie Littlechild
Client Experience
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Julie Littlechild is a speaker, author, researcher, and founder of AbsoluteEngagement.com. She helps successful professionals and entrepreneurs design businesses that support ... Click for full bio

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

NBA Player Carl Landry Demonstrates the Value of Persistence in Life and Work

Written by: Jon Sabes

When you meet Carl Landry, stand-out college basketball player and nine-year NBA player, you imagine that becoming a professional basketball star was a straight forward run for the 6-foot-nine-inch power forward. 

However, when you go deeper into Carl’s background, becoming a NBA professional was less than certain and little came easily to the 33-year-old from Milwaukee:

  • He was cut from his high school team as a freshman and averaged less than ten points a game when he did play as a senior.
  • He started his college career not at Purdue, but a junior college where it was not clear he would play.
  • When he finally got to Purdue, he tore his ACL in his knee his first year and reinjured it the next year.
  • While his family held a party for him the night of the NBA draft, he slept in the Philadelphia airport after missing a flight following a workout for the 76ers.
  • In the NBA playoffs, Carl had a tooth knocked out, but came back in the same game to make a game-winning blocked shot as the Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 94-92.

Landry, who I interviewed on my podcast, Innovating Life with Jon Sabes (www.jonsabes.com), is a remarkable example of the value of “persistence.” In a time where technology creates the image that anything is possible at the touch of a button, persistence is an under-appreciated trait. When I spoke with Carl, I clearly saw someone for whom success has only come through a force of will that made him a NBA player, but it also made him a better player every year he played. That’s the kind of personality that has produced greatness in business as well as sports.

Carl was, in fact, drafted that night he spent in the airport. The Seattle Supersonics chose him as the 31st overall pick and then traded him to the Houston Rockets where he rode the bench for much of the first half of the season. When All-Star teammate Yao Ming was injured, he stepped in and played a key role in the Rockets astonishing 22-game winning streak (the third longest streak in NBA history). And, that season, after sitting on the bench for 33 of the first 36 games, he was named to the All-Rookie second team.

Carl was the first in his family to go to college. “I told myself that this was my ticket out, so I did everything I possibly could to be the best person in school and also on the court,” he said.

His family life in Milwaukee showed him what he didn’t want to do. “Just being honest with you, seeing some my cousins, peers, they went to work for jobs paying six, seven dollars an hour or they didn’t go to work at all and then living off welfare. I didn’t want that.”

When he was first injured, he had to contemplate the end of a career before it even got started. “When you have an ACL tear, it’s over…no more basketball,” he told me. “I said, God, give me health again and I’ll do everything I can to leave it all out on the line and be a successful individual.”

On my podcast, Carl pointed out another interesting lesson he learned in the NBA: Not doing things just to fit in.

“Fitting in was easy,” he said. “Doing everything that everybody else does was easy. If I stood out in some type of way, I’m going to have different results. I’m going to have stand-out results.”

That’s called the “Law of Contrast” and it produces that exact effect of changing the outcomes that everyone else is experiencing.  Carl is smart, he recognized that differences make a difference, and doing whatever it takes is what is required to make real, meaningful differences.

Every off-season for the last 11 years, he has run a camp for kids in Milwaukee where he tells youth his story of hard work and persistence. “I always tell the kids to apply themselves and always be persistent,” he said. “If you dream, apply yourself and be persistent. With hard work, man, the sky’s the limit.”

When Carl says the sky’s the limit he means it.  He is smart to recognize that it’s important to dream big, because if we don’t – we may be selling ourselves short. “You have to dream bigger than your mind could ever imagine,” he said. “I wanted a nice house. I wanted a nice car. I said, and I got all of that. So, what do I do, do I stop now? Maybe I didn’t dream big enough.” That’s a big statement coming from a kid who grew up to be the first in his family to graduate college and go on to be not only a top NBA basketball start, but a good businessman, father and someone who gives back to the community.

I’m convinced that in whatever he takes on as a basketball player or in his post-hoops career, Carl Landry is not going to stop getting better at whatever he does, and in the process of doing so, make the world a better place.

GWG Holdings, Inc.
Investing in Life
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GWG Holdings, Inc. (Nasdaq:GWGH) the parent company of GWG Life, is a financial services company committed to transforming the life insurance industry through disruptive and i ... Click for full bio