04 October 2017
Engage with your clients or risk losing them & their fees!
How many of your customers do you feel are loyal and committed to stick with your services? Deep down do you have an inkling that some may be seeking to move their business elsewhere?
In this business climate overheads and managing costs are under the microscope constantly. In an age of increasing client expectations a one size fits approach wouldn’t appear to be the most successful approach to maintain relationships and subsequently fees. Many clients now expect their professional advisors to fully understand their individual needs and to review this regularly.
There is no doubt that an ongoing two-way engagement with your clients is essential to ensure you’re performing well and being seen to be proactive to their needs. But are you? Is your firm taking the lead in both maintaining and developing relationships with your client base? If not perhaps consideration needs to be given to a change in strategic approach?
A good starting point may be asking some of your team the following questions:
• How well do you know your clients as individuals?
• What do you know about their challenges, priorities, and needs?
• Is this client happy and committed to you, or could they easily move to one of your competitors?
The answers to these questions come from speaking with your customers. And when we speak to our customers we begin to gather intelligence! If we ask the right questions we can find out where they want to take their business, we can find out if there are problem areas stifling growth or development, how they visualise their exit for instance?
All key areas you can support them in!
It’s always easy to get too focussed on your transactional work and forget about developing relationships and business connections. However, there are a number of actions you can take to help develop better engagement. Even when you’re really busy and can’t leave the office. Here’s a few suggestions if you can’t get out and spend time face to face with clients.
- Dedicate time to call a cross section of customers at a convenient time. Be sure to focus the conversation on what the customer’s needs are.
- Keep up-to-date with your clients online, visit their website and social media channels to get a fuller picture of their activities and marketplace.
- If you know what your customer is focusing on you can look out for opportunities to help them achieve this.
Every member of your team should know the importance of client engagement and understanding the needs of your customer. A good way to help embed this in your culture is to:
• Create customer experience metrics — what does success for the client look like? Use these metrics as key performance indicators for each client.
• Empower your staff to take action on what they have learned about the customer and make recommendations.
• Continue to talk to clients and use their feedback to tailor the service you offer
So, next team meeting put customer engagement on your agenda and make some changes that will hopefully retain and grow your fees.