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by Anthony Lam, The Covenant Group
Every time you meet with a client in person, send an email or speak on the phone, you have an opportunity to impress. How do you continually build client capital? Are you constantly on the lookout for the needs and demands that your clients feel but have yet to voice? Delivering excellent, value-added customer service requires not only the talent to produce strong financial results, but also the listening skills and compassion that can deepen the relationship from financial advisor to trusted friend.With the seemingly endless barrage of news about scandals and underperformance in the financial sector, financial services professionals should need to work to re-earn trust and prove their value when serving customers. This is the time to be frank with your clients. Ask them whether they are happy with your services and solicit feedback about how you can improve. Passing around a survey can offer a window of insight into trends and patterns related to the products you offer (or the ones you should be providing), your availability and clients’ satisfaction. Based on those results, highlight a few areas where you and your employees can improve — as well as those where you are performing well — and lay out a step-by-step strategy for how you can make those positive changes.
Being receptive to constructive criticism and transparent about how you continually strive for excellence is also likely to impress clients. Set up a feedback email account or hotline, and create a space on your website where web-savvy clients can submit comments or complaints. Follow up on everything, acknowledge their feelings and explain how you plan to address the issues they shared.
Also consider the non-traditional services you can offer your clients. I just came across an article from The Wall Street Journal that reports some advisors are going as far as to negotiate car deals for their clients, helping them search for new homes, reviewing college tuition and financial aid plans and more. But you don’t even have to go that far. Simply pairing one client in need of legal representation with one of your clients who is a lawyer can be enough. Have you noticed that a lot of the prospects and clients you talk to have concerns about their retirements? Consider setting up a free weekend seminar that offers saving tips and other advice to help them plan for their later years. When you start to open up your mind to forms of customer service that span beyond the normal call of duty for an advisor, you can distinguish yourself from the competition and make yourself indispensable to your clients.
Anthony Lam has spent more than 20 years honing his customer relationship management skills. He has demonstrated his commitment to high-quality customer service in the retail, banking and airline industries. Anthony is the Manager of Program Delivery and Client Relationships at The Covenant Group and coaches financial advisors on client services through The Covenant Group’s financial services training.
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Norm Trainor is the Founder and CEO of The Covenant Group, a company that specializes in educating and coaching financial advisors and entrepreneurs and providing them with business tools to enhance their performance. He can be reached at email@example.com or 1-877-903-3878 X333. Read more from the author/contributor here.
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