Delivering an Innovative Client Experience as a Financial Advisor

Delivering an innovative client experience

What does it mean to deliver an innovative client experience? We have all read about an amazing hotel chain that delivered an incredible experience for a guest. We have heard how to have a better client experience for our clients. Firms talk about being client-centric, but how do they do it? Make it all about them. 

How do you deliver it? 

My favorite quote from the Formula One driver Lewis Hamilton is ”I don't aspire to be like other drivers - I aspire to be unique in my own way". Creating a client experience that you can repeat over and over is not unique, not innovative, and not repeatable. The problem with creating a client experience that is unique and innovative is that you are doing something creative and different that you've never done before. I get that in meetings with your best clients there has to be a process, an agenda and there has to be a standard protocol that you follow and implement. But you do not want to create a cookie-cutter experience for your best clients agreed? Stop listening to people who tell you how to create a client experience when they have never had an experience with your clients. Instead, think differently and don't do what all other advisors do, but do something unique and memorable that is similar to no other advisor.

Examples of unique client experience

Here is a list of unique things that you can consider doing, but it is not repeatable to all clients, only your best clients, with compliance approval of course.

Re-interview your best clients

Have your personal goals and priorities changed over the last 2 to 3 years? Most people i talk to have. Re-interview and have the goals conversations to find out what priorities have changed. Re-interview them and re-discover their values and what is most important to them. The first time you met them was an amazing experience, repeat it! 

Philanthropy Have your clients experience philanthropy by doing philanthropy with them such as an event, activity fundraiser, or charity and getting them engaged in a philanthropic cause or activity. Biking with your best clients to raise money for a cause and cause-related marketing 

Entertainment During the pandemic, we went to mass entertainment through webinars, but how can you do something unique and special for your top client? Food, alcohol, wine and spirits, music, arts, and entertainment. What is something unique that you can share and give with them that is personable? It helps you build a deeper connection. This is what you have to find out from them by asking questions. For example, they love reading, helping them find a unique book from one of their favorite authors. They love wine or food, finding a unique wine or finding unique spices from a specialty store that they talked about, it shows you are listening and paying attention and you understand them. This can't be done on masse, and it takes time, thoughtfulness, and creativity.  Most of your top clients enjoy some form of educational experience. I use golf pro swing days, tours of interesting places in your hometown, or check out what your clients are doing for educational experiences for ideas.

Technology does a better job of doing repetitive tasks than people do. How can you enhance your client's experience with technology? Check out our technology checklist to see where you can leverage your time by using technology. The tech categories seem to grow each and every year and practice management focuses on leveraging technology for financial advisor practices.

Family If you have not done a family zoom call or offered a family legacy conversation now is the time to learn about legacy conversations because this is the most important conversation you will ever have with an ideal client. Gutsy yes difficult yes valuable absolutely! 

Fun Hopefully in the second half of this year, as the pandemic restrictions ease, and everyone gets outdoors, what do your clients love to do when they get outdoors? The number one for the wealthy is playing golf so golf can be fun but also time-consuming. Consider a one-hour golf lesson with your clients and spending a bit of time with a golf pro. Hey everyone wants to get better at their golf game, but not everyone knows a golf pro or has a golf pro that can help them. One of my financial advisor clients is planning to do boating with clients all summer, and another client plans on hiking with several clients. What do you plan to do with your best clients? Isn't it about time you put the fun back into your business? 

I recently asked one of the financial advisors I worked with what he loved to do in his spare time?. We talked about fishing probably for a little too long but he said he would love to go tuna fishing. Pivoting to an offer or thinking of an offer of value is where you need to go when you have these conversations. Automatically I thought of a friend who is a tuna fisherman, and I thought I would share a couple of tins of smoked albacore tuna that I thought he would enjoy, especially living in the prairies. Guess who has a few cans of custom smoked albacore tuna on the way? Send clients a gift because this is unique and innovative for each person based on our conversation. Start with a conversation, listen for ideas, and then delight and surprise.

Calendars My dad loved getting a calendar every year from the bank. So when I got into financial services I decided I would do whatever the other advisor does and send out annual calendars. Then one year I decided to ask people about their passions and the calendar I sent was unique to their passions. For example, if you loved cars I'd send a calendar on cars, if you loved gardening I would send a calendar on gardening. If you love to travel I would send a calendar unique to where you don't want it to go. How about sending a unique gift basket that aligns with their passions, such as a food recreation gardening basket?

Innovate What can you do that is out-of-the-box thinking? Where do clients want to spend their time? 

Start by asking about their passions in other words what they love to do which you already know outside of work.

When you are not working what do you love to do? In that 5 to 15-minute conversation, you will come up with two things. First potential future activities that you might want to deliver to a group of clients and prospects. For example knowing clients love golf, fishing, hiking biking, or walking dogs. Second, you will know what they really like and where they want to spend their time isn't your goal to help them financially, so they can spend more time doing what they love to do? Not only are you helping them with their planning, so they could spend more time doing their passions, but once they get there you now really understand what all this planning is for the two ties together so that your client experience is about their passions where they want to spend their time, and now you understand they're why.

Related: Advisors, Are You Investing in Your Best Client Opportunities?