What determines whether a high-net-worth client stays with or leaves an advisor? Recent surveys of high-net-worth individuals ranked the top reasons they stick with or ditch their advisors. In neither case was performance the most important driver of behavior, although it is still an important factor. However, service and responsiveness topped the list.
Client experience is key to retention
Client retention depends on a satisfying client experience. Here are three things you can do to make a good impression.
1. Establish formal customer service standards, and monitor compliance. Set guidelines for all client touchpoints, for example, indicating time frames for return phone calls and emails and when and how often to schedule in-person meetings. Then hold team members accountable for maintaining firm standards.
2. Be flexible in how you communicate. Take note on how clients prefer to communicate, leveraging technology for those comfortable using it. The important thing is to be responsive.
3. Be a good listener. Practicing the art of active listening strengthens your ability to provide good ideas and advice. Skills for active listening include periodically asking questions to keep an active dialogue and clarifying assumptions to make sure you understand what your client is saying and their feelings about the topic. Be supportive, not judgmental.3
Your clients want to be respected and supported throughout their quest toward achieving their financial goals. Dedicating resources for providing a superior client experience can go a long way toward building loyalty and maintaining relationships that endure through all types of market and performance environments.
1 Advisory Firms in 2030: the innovation imperative, John D. Anderson, SEI, August 2019 in association with FPA.
2 When Millionaires Change Advisors, April 2, 2018©, Spectrem Group.
3 What Great Listeners Actually Do, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, Harvard Business Review, July 14, 2016. https://hbr.org/2016/07/what-great-listeners-actually-do