If you fail to provide exemplary client service, you won’t succeed in this business. While good product knowledge and financial judgement are requisite skills, you must go that extra mile to attend to your clients.
Here are some ways to make sure your client service is outstanding.
1. Provide a personalized service
No one wants to be part of a cookie-cutter organization. Yes, you need to help clients hit their financial goals, but this is part and parcel of what you do. What you need to focus on is how you make your clients feel. Your job is not just about managing money –– it’s to help clients feel special by offering them a truly personalized service.
All too often advisors’ attention wanders from existing clients to attracting new ones. Don’t fall into this trap. If your clients start to feel your interest in them is waning, they will be offended and they will start to become prospects for other advisors.
So, treat each client as an individual. Add value to their lives and ensure they see you as a solution to their problems. Don’t focus on the products or the process, focus on being the person that can solve their particular problems. Do things differently. Focus on creating an amazing client experience – make it a 5-star experience to be in your office.
2. Speak to clients on their level
If you speak to your clients in a clear and straightforward manner, they will appreciate it. This doesn’t mean you have to address them as though they are lacking in intelligence, it means ditching the lingo and intellectual posturing and speaking to them as you would want a doctor or lawyer to speak to you.
You won’t impress clients by pushing charts or numbers their way – so talk to them on their own level.
And sound passionate when you speak to clients. Enthusiasm also goes a long way when it comes to instilling clients with confidence in your abilities.
3. Always be on hand
Always be there for your clients – whether it’s related to their investments or something else in their life. Care more than they expect you to care.
Be like the advisor who delivered a ‘care package’ of milk and eggs during a snow storm to his top clients. By simply carrying out this small act of kindness he created a bond with his clients. Unsurprisingly he received a host of thank-you emails and referrals for his troubles.
Remember your clients’ birthdays, get to understand their family situation, call them to let them know you are thinking about them. Reassure them when times are tough, take ownership of their problems and be accountable for them. If you get something wrong put your hand up – this will earn you their respect.
When you call a client ask him or her how they rate your service and whether there’s anything they’d like to see you do differently. This is a flattering thing to do – it shows you respect and care about their opinion. It also means you can fix problems before they escalate. When you call ask too, if anything has changed on their side.
Become friends with your clients, because people don’t fire their friends. Get involved in their lives, and never put yourself first. Have an unrelenting focus on their overall well-being, not just their financial well-being.
4. Listen attentively
Learning the art of remaining silent is harder than it sounds – we’re all guilty of talking too much on occasions. So, make it routine to pay attention to your clients and become ‘absorbed’ by what they are saying. This shows that you care about them. Smile, nod and show empathy and engagement, and they will like and trust you. Try not to cut in, rather ask pertinent questions.
Mindful listening will also ensure that you can pin point a client’s goals and build their investment plan based exactly on those goals and according to their preferences and risk tolerance. So, wait until you’ve digested all they want to say before you give your presentation.
Make it your aim to make your client service exceptional. Mediocre service is what many people have come to expect so surprise your clients. Be unusual by providing excellent service and you will stand out.
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