Engaged clients, more referrals

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Client engagement is a critical driver of success in the financial advice sector; when engagement is high, clients are more satisfied and loyal and are helping to drive growth through referrals.

A report from Adviser Impact, The Rules of Engagement, surveyed 1,207 investors and found targeted engaged clients by incorporating feedback on loyalty, satisfaction, share of wallet and referral activity.

Across the board, engaged clients were not only more satisfied and loyal but also more likely to see a stronger connection between the advice they received, and reaching their financial goals. Engaged clients also recognised advice as separate and distinct from market performance and ascribe greater value to advice relative to the fees they paid.

Leadership is clearly a powerful descriptor, suggesting an active role in guiding the client through the often complex decisions in his or her financial life. Among the leadership qualities rated in the study, ‘provides guidance’ and ‘helps me focus on the long-term’ were ranked as most important by clients.

This table from the survey shows how respondents view their adviser’s leadership, compared to how engaged clients feel:

 

Leadership Qualities

 

Importance Rating (out of 5): All

Strongly agree: All

 

Strongly agree: Engaged

 

Gap

 

Provides guidance

4.3

55%

70%

15%

Helps me focus on long-term

4.2

53%

70%

17%

Helps me make difficult decisions

4.0

43%

60%

17%

Is proactive in managing our relationship

4.0

46%

65%

19%

Provides reassurance

3.9

45%

60%

15%

Provides me education

4.0

41%

59%

18%

Engages me in difficult conversations about my financial future

3.9

36%

52%

16%

“Leadership is about taking an active role and helping clients to focus on those things that will impact their financial futures,” said the report.

Here are five steps you can take to create an engaged client:

  1. THE RIGHT OFFER FOR THE RIGHT CLIENTS: Gather feedback from clients to assess what they need, want and expect in their relationship with you.
  2. LAYING A STRONG FOUNDATION: Clearly define service standards, communicate through a service agreement and review annually with clients.
  3. BEYOND INVESTMENTS: THE SCOPE OF THE OFFER: Help clients articulate and document a vision for their financial future.
  4. BEYOND INDIVIDUAL CLIENT: MULTI-GENERATIONAL PLANNING: Actively involve the extended family in the wealth management process.
  5. BEYOND INDIVIDUAL ADVISER: INTEGRATING YOUR PROFESSIONAL NETWORK: Play the ‘quarterback’ with clients, keeping other professional advisors informed and involved.
  • Wayne Slager, Real Property Advice on 11/03/2013 12:41:21 PM

    Well, if this research doesn't confirm that clients place critical importance on trusted leadership and holistic advice on ALL aspects of their financial security then what would. At the risk of sounding like a gratuitous plug, doesn't this also mean that clients would welcome integrated advice on all their property related matters (and, no doubt, any number of other issues, too)? If so, is it time for the planning industry to take it's blinkers off and increase its relevance and value to clients, and also increase revenues and practice values? Your thoughts please.

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